Community remembrance for victims of tragic house fire

Community remembrance for victims of tragic house fire »Play Video
Healing takes entire community after tragic loss of life.
OROFINO, ID - The first funeral was last weekend for one of five individuals who died in an Orofino house fire.

The community church was full of mourners as hundreds gathered for the funeral of Colby Stedman, 13, who's life was tragically taken in a house fire last Saturday.

"We're all volunteers but that's what we signed on to do, and it's a job that's got to be done and nobody will do it if we don't," said Orofino Fire Department Chief Mike Lee.

And despite emergency personnel's quick response to the fire, it was too late as the flames completely engulfed the old house.

"We were there for hours and hours and it was really tough and doing the body recovery and all that," said Lee.

And while those horrific images are seared into their memories, there's also something beautiful going on in the town of Orofino. But in order to see it you have to take a step back and look up through the ashes of darkness, because it's then that you learn that healing not only takes time... It takes a community.

"It's shaking hands and it's hugs, the supports just amazing," said resident of Orofino.

Its also a time of remembrance for the small town.

"Did it with a smile on his face," said co-worker of deceased Courteney Ellis. "I know he gave a lot of people rides that didn't have cars. He would leave his home at 11-O-Clock at night and come back and take someone home. Just good people."

Photos , flowers, teddy bears and messages saying I miss you and you'll be in my heart forever are here at memorial for the five victims that died in the fire.

And the caring doesn't stop there, as the community thinks of creative ways to help soften the financial burden as well.

"In light of the fire we're also gonna donate part of what we make here to the accounts that are set up for the families," said Clean & Sober Drop in Center Sunny Bales.

And while small signs of healing are inevitable so are the gaping holes within the tight knit community.

"They'll be missed all of them," said Courteney.

Donation accounts have been set up at local banks to help the grieving families. A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo for Colby Stedman and a West, Wooster, Wiley Fund has been set up at Lewis Clark Credit Union for the other four individuals that died in the fire.