Vigil held to remember three people lost in New Orleans East fire

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Emotions ran high at a vigil for three people who lost their lives in a house fire. The fire occurred early Friday morning in New Orleans East. Saturday, family and friends remembered them with song and prayer.

A small glow lit the front yard of a charred home on Wave Drive where family, friends and neighbors held candles for three lives lost-- 70-year-old Lewis Williams, three-year-old Karter Lee and Karter's grandmother, Lorraine Lee.

"She was just like a second mom to me. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her. There's nothing she wouldn't do for anyone else. She was just a sweet person," said neighbor Cheryl Watkins, who is still in shock. "It's just sad. You can see it in front of you but you just don't believe it. I don't believe it. It's like a nightmare to me."

It was just after 1:30, Friday morning, when firefighters arrived at the one-story home to find smoke and flames coming from the front door and windows. They soon discovered four family members trapped inside. Firefighters managed to save one of them, 80-year-old Lewis Lee, Lorraine's husband. But the others' injuries were too severe.

"Enjoy your friends and family while they're here because they're here today, gone tomorrow. Literally," said Erica Lee.

Lee lost her mother, her uncle and her young son in the fire. She says the support for her and her family has been instrumental in helping her grieve.

"It's so much love. It's beautiful. When we pulled up on the street and I saw everybody I was like, 'this is beautiful,'" Lee said. "The comfort really helps get through it."

Nevertheless, for her and those who knew them best, the healing has just begun.

"She's an angel, though. She's an angel," said Watkins.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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