ROCKY MOUNT — A weekend house fire changed lives forever in Rocky Mount. The community joined friends and family Thursday as they said goodbye to the seven victims.
The Rev. W.R. Burston spoke to the huge crowd at the packed Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, saying an inexpensive smoke detector could have prevented the tragedy.
"It is terrible that people have to lose their lives over a $12.99 smoke detector," Burston told the mourners. He also told everyone to be sure to keep smoke detectors in working order.
It is still unclear whether there was a smoke detector in the home. Authorities found a bracket that may have come from a smoke detector, and have sent it to the SBI.
The landlord, who had been cited 24 times for smoke detector violations, said he installed a smoke detector. A contractor also said he installed two detectors in the home last summer.
Six children and one 49-year-old man died in the Saturday night fire.
The Rev. Thomas Walker preached from the Book of Job, reminding mourners that Job lost all 10 of his children, but still refused to curse God.
"Satan has done this in order to move you away from God," Walker said.
The large sanctuary could not hold the overflow crowd. Many gathered in the church's fellowship hall to watch the service on closed-circuit television.
The cost of the caskets and burials is too much for the family to bear. A memorial fund has been established for donations.Moore Family Memorial FundBB&TP.O. Box 2568Rocky Mount, NC 27802 From staff and wire reports Photographer:Gil Hollingsworth