MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – It has been exactly three months since a fire killed six people, including four children in McKeesport.
On Friday, police charged a man with deliberately setting that fire in an act of revenge.
On Sunday, family and friends came together again to honor the lives lost. They gathered to comfort each other and to pray now that someone has been arrested and charged with starting the fire.
For months, friends and family have been trying to come to terms with the deaths of six people from one family.
The burned shell of a home that still stands at 310 Express Alley in McKeesport is a grim reminder of the six lives that were lost.
In the past 48 hours, the pain of that loss became much greater when 24-year-old Ryan Williams was arrested and charged with starting the fire that killed Ron Egenlauf, his daughter-in-law Hope Jordan Egenlauf, her four children and severely burned her husband, Keith.
“It feels like a Band-Aid and you start to heal and someone rips it off and pulls that scab off and opens that wound back up,” Dawn Emery said.
Friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night to comfort each other, and share in the news that an arrest has been made in the case.
“It’s just a relief now that someone is coming forward. They must have been in fear that this could happen to them,” Lavern Egenlauf said.
Keith Egenlauf was the sole survivor of the fire, and has yet to recover from his injuries.
According to police, Williams was seeking revenge against Keith when the fire was set.
Egenlauf is currently in the hospital facing another skin graft next week – one of several since the fire.
“He needs support. He needs help. There are no funds out there that can help him. So, just pray up above that he gets the help he needs,” Emma Ackerman said.
And for this family – still hurting, still grieving – they believe prayer is all they have to hold onto.
Keith has both a physical recovery and a mental recovery ahead of him, but this community in McKeesport has vowed to rally around him on this long road ahead.