RICHMOND, Va. – A candle light prayer vigil is being held to remember three Henrico children who died in an apartment fire earlier this month.
Jeremiah, age seven, two-year-old Shyla, and one-year-old Sage Gilliam, were asleep in their Highland Pointe apartment, along their mother’s fiancé, Shawn Ross, when unattended food on the stove caught fire.
The children and Ross were pulled out of the apartment by Henrico firefighters, but were unresponsive. All three children later died from their injuries. Ross is still hospitalized at VCU Medical Center.
The children’s mother, Joreatha Lewis, 26, was at work at the time of the fire. Lewis, who is seven months pregnant, recently told CBS 6 that her children meant everything to her.
“To be honest, I’m trying to take it day by day. I’m just speechless. I’m restless. I can barely eat. I’m just holding on trying to be strong. It’s very emotional at times,” Lewis said through her tears.
On behalf of the Lewis-Gilliam family, United Communities Against Crime organized a prayer vigil for Jeremiah, Shyla, and Sage.
The vigil will be held Wednesday, July 19, at 6:00 p.m. at the Love and Learn Child Care Center, located at 5168 Nine Mile Road in Richmond.
Those who plan to attend the vigil are asked to bring their own candles, orange balloons and teddy bears.
Friends and family members are contributing to a GoFundMe page to offset funeral costs. They also opened a Memorial Fund at Essex Bank in the children’s names.
“I appreciate all the support because at this time I really do need that one thing. So, support is really welcome and needed,” Lewis explained.