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"We won’t see them again” | Many in disbelief after 2 kids and 2 adults are lost in an early morning house fire

“Every now and then I’ll be thinking about how we looked forward to seeing them, and then we remember, we won’t see them again.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Frayser community is reeling after an early house fire Tuesday left two children and two adults dead, and another adult in the hospital in critical condition. 

The Memphis Fire Department says the children were eight and 10, who along with their mother and grandfather were trapped in the 900 Block of Par Avenue when a space heater set the home on fire.

Loved ones and neighbors in Patricia Heights say they are in disbelief. Those who knew the children said they were full of light.

“They were almost like our grandkids,” said Frank Lasiter, he and his wife watched the two children for years. “I was Pappa, my wife Janyll was Nanny.”

The eight and 10 year old would rush to the Lasiter’s home after school, it became a memory the two cherished. However, this all changed once the fire erupted at 2am, and before the sun rose, first responders broke the news.

“Someone knocked on the door, came in and said ‘call 911,” said Lasiter.

“We busted two of those left side windows out, and we were trying to reach out and get in, but it was impossible to get it, there was too much smoke and fire,” said Ryan Rond, a neighbor who responded to the fire.

Despite the community’s efforts, it was not enough to save the children and the two other adults. Many say this pain does not feel like it will go away soon.

“Every now and then I’ll be thinking about how we looked forward to seeing them, and then we remember, we won’t see them again,” said Lasiter.

People are choosing to remember the light the family brought into their lives. A memorial is growing in the former home’s front yard, with balloons, flowers and even stuffed animals to show support to the family reeling from an unfortunate event.

“Most of the time I’m thinking about the good times I did get to know them, that’s what’s keeping me going pretty much,” said Lasiter.

ABC24 is told the other adult is in critical condition in the Regional One Burn Unit. MFD says it is working to confirm whether there was a working smoke detector in the home when the fire broke out.

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