Friends Mark One Month Since an Arlington Fire Killed Five People

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

ARLINGTON, Iowa - People gathered near Arlington Monday night to remember the five people who died in a house fire on January 24th, 2014.

The fire at 5094 F Avenue killed three adults and two children.
The State Fire Marshal's office has said all five died from burns and smoke inhalation. On Monday, people gathered to remember the victims where the house once stood about four miles southwest of Arlington.

A month has past, but the bone chilling wind reminds family and friends of the cold day that forever changed their lives.

Mike Mathews said, "I got a call from the Fayette County Sheriff. They said they couldn't get ahold of my dad and that his house was on fire. And I just flipped. "

The survivors have since held funerals and buried their loved ones. Still they say they felt drawn back to the fire scene.

Family Friend, Dawn Lee said, "I just wanted to do it to let them know we still love and care about them. Whether they are still here or not."

Friends say there has been some tension between the different families of each victim since the fire. They say this memorial is also a way of letting bygones be bygones.

"You can't blame everyone for their mistakes," said Lee. "And she's not here anymore. So you can't keep blaming her. You've got to let it go. "

The cold wind, kept the candles from staying lit. But it couldn't stop the people compelled to move on from doing what they had to do.

"It feels nice to have people come out and do this for us. And for all the people who this happened to that night, " said Mathews.

A benefit to help pay for funeral costs for one of the victims, Gilbert Stacher, is planned for Saturday March 15th. A silent auction begins at 6 p.m. at Dave's Bar in Oelwein.
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