Ohio Community Grieving After Deadly Fire

By Eric DeFreeuw

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 11:54 PM EDT

BRYAN, Ohio (www.incnow.tv) – After a tragic fire claims the life of two young Ohioans, residents in Bryan, Ohio are banding together to cope during this very sad and heartbreaking time.

17-year-old Ashley Jenkins and her fiancée 20-year-old Sebastian McConnell were trapped in the second floor after their home was engulfed in flames. Jenkins' mother and stepfather were downstairs when it all started and were able to escape uninjured with her 5-month-old son Nicholas.

Now, the town is doing their part to help the family deal with the loss during this tough time. Stefanie Widney, a Youth Director at Grace Community Church where the couple belonged is trying to do whatever it takes to help the family, but admits it’s difficult knowing her friends are gone. "I've been doing alright, just kind of trying to keep things together that way. I've had my moments like I've been watching Nicholas a little bit for the grandparents just while they make arrangements and that kind of thing. So (I've) been trying to do OK with him, and he's just a happy kid so he's always good. But I have those moments where I just think about the fact that his parents won't be there to see him grow up."

Chandler Bigger, a friend and fellow Bryan, Ohio resident told of some of the ways Bryan residents are pitching in to help saying "at Huntington Bank they've been collecting items and money for the child, and we've been doing a lot of community activities for the baby. And yeah we've been pretty stable on helping out."

Outside what is left of the home residents have placed a memorial shrine to remember the young couple. Locals are also doing their part by donating goods and services to help while the family makes their final funeral preparations.

Funeral services are being finalized now, and reportedly will be held Wednesday, January 9th, 2012.




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