Apr 26, 2012 11:30 PM by Maddie Garrett

Hundreds Gather for Vigil in Honor of 4 Children Killed in Fire

Some 200 people gathered Thursday night in Rayne in remembrance of four children killed in a house fire. Jamari McDade, Amos Mouton Jr., LaShay McDade and Brian Steiner were all in the hearts and prayers of an entire community.

"Tonight is about the community coming together as one to send down a blessing to heal the hurt we are going through right now," said Elaine Sias, who organized the vigil.

Through prayers, songs and fond memories, each child holds a special place in the hearts of many, especially school teachers like Ricci Arnaud.

"It's been a tough week, and I'm so excited to see the community support for the family," said Arnaud.

She said students at Central Rayne Kindergarten will release balloons tomorrow to say goodbye the children.

"The class that LaShay was in, everybody in the class will have a balloon and they'll get to whisper things that they want to tell her, and all the other classes will have a balloon too and we'll release it so she can hear all the things we think about her and all the memories we have of her," she said.

The Vigil was not only to lift up the four children who died but the rest of the family as well, especially the oldest surviving sibling, 10-year-old Tyrin McDade.

"Just letting the surviving family members know that this community stands together as one, and stands with them," said Sias.

Candle by candle, a community was shining bright in its darkest hour to help one another.

This Sunday a benefit is set for Union Hall in Rayne in honor of Tyrin McDade. Tyrin wasn't home at the time of the fire, but lost everything he owned. To help Tyrin, the fundraiser will sell chicken and pork dinners with all the trimmings, there will also be face painting for the youngsters. A trust fund is now set up in Tyrin's name at the Church Point Bank.


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