Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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One-Year Anniversary of Grape Street Fire

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Rochester: One-Year Anniversary of Grape Street Fire
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It's been one year since a tragic fire on Grape Street took the lives of four children. Monday night, neighbors and loved ones held a vigil to remember and celebrate the lives lost.

It was a fire that ignited a neighborhood nightmare. One year later, the haunting memories are still there.

"Even driving by it everyday, it's hard," said Colleen Bender.

Bender's son, 14-year-old Giovanni Delorm, was one of the five survivors of the Grape Street house fire.

The fire killed four children. They were 14-year old Gage Reavey, 13-year old Greg Kugler, 12-year old Kandee Kugler, and 6-year old Kaiden Kugler.

"We just love them and we miss them more than anything," said Bender.

Bender lived on the other side of the home. Her son was with his friends next door when the fire broke out. She says his recovery the past year has been rough.

"He's been doing okay but he still has nightmares that's why he's not here today. He just can't handle it right now," she said.

Waltquarius Evans was also at the house that night. Monday evening, he joined neighborhood friends and family who gathered at the home to remember the lives lost.

"I'm glad to be here to just sit here and remember all of my friends and all the good things about them," said Evans.

The house now has a fresh coat of paint, new siding, and new tenants. To neighborhood friends, it's still a constant reminder of what's missing.

"It has a different feel. Back then it used to be comfortable; now whenever I walk by, I always think of them," said Anthony Pyryembida, neighborhood friend.

Neighbors and friends say even though they think of them everyday, they hope to gather and remember them every year around this time.

"They was good people and you could go to them for anything cause they just were like kind-hearted," said Evans.

The mother of the victims, Bobbie Kugler, admitted she was drunk and had taken sleeping pills when lighting a picture on fire setting the blaze. Last month, she was sentenced to seven to 15 years in prison.

Some neighbors say the punishment just wasn't enough.


Rochester: One-Year Anniversary of Grape Street Fire
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
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