Community remembers fire victim - - The News for South Mississippi

Community remembers fire victim

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Neighbors, friends and fellow community members held a candlelight vigil Saturday to remember five month old Madden Graham Gunn. The infant died Friday from injuries he suffered in house fire Thursday morning.     

You could still smell the ashes as neighbors lit candles in memory of Madden Graham Gunn.  Each candle held a prayer for a family in grief and life cut short only five months after it began.

"We want them to feel that the community cares for them, and that what happened to them is horrible. And we're here if there's anything they need," said neighbor Helen Landry. "If there's anything they need we're here for them, and we'll pray for them."
A picture of the infant Madden Graham Gunn, who neighbors knew as Graham, lay in front of the house where he was sleeping when a fire ripped through it Thursday. 

His big brother, two year old Benjamin, and grandmother Kathy Bradley barely escaped with serious injuries. Sheriff's deputies and firefighters pulled Graham from the home. He died Friday in a Birmingham burn unit.

"It was horrible," said Landry as she remembered watching the blaze. "It was hell here."

"What it strikes up is it's just such a visceral, such an awful, that it's almost paralyzing," said Nova Cross, who lives next door. "You want to do something. You want to do anything, and you can't. And the pain is just so awful."

Pastor Dustin Boles conducted the ceremony.

"I want to give people a little bit of hope. You know, tonight's not the night to give a lot of answers," Boles said. "It's too early for that. It's really to, just kind of be there, listen, let people say what they want to say."

Though they can't bring little Graham back, the neighbors hope their outpouring of love will show the Gunn family a glimmer of hope in their darkest hour.

"Just giving love and giving prayer and letting them know that we are so sorry," said Cross.  "We are so sorry that they are having to experience this, and it's really all we can do."

The community has set up a benefit fund called the Gunn Family Fire Fund at Keesler Federal Credit Union. 

"I know the Gunns are not thinking about money right now," said Landry. "But the time will come when they will need it, and it will be there for them."

You can donate to the fund at any branch of Keesler Federal Credit Union.

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