A Worcester family devastated by a five-alarm blaze that claimed the lives of three family members showed resiliency in the face of tragedy as they thanked neighbors for their support during a vigil outside their burned home on Sunday.
“We will not question God, we will stand on the belief that he has a higher plan. We may not understand but he will get us through this,” Woodrow Adams Jr. said, speaking to neighbors through a bull horn. “We will mourn and we will celebrate the legacy of those lost in this fire.”
Adams lost his grandmother, Edna Mae Williams and his uncle Gerald “Jerry” Prince, who both perished inside the family’s 13 Jacques Ave. home when a fire broke out around 7:25 p.m. on Friday, igniting the wooden porches on adjacent triple-decker homes, Adams confirmed.
“The fire … destroyed my parents’, grandparent and family friends’ belongings,” Adams said.
On Saturday, Adams’ father, Woodrow Adams Sr., succumbed to his injuries, Adams said. The 71-year-old patriarch lept from a third-story window, shattering his pelvis.
“I was looking forward to 50 more years with my husband,” Lorraine Adams said, her voice cracking at times. “I know he’s looking down on me. I had the best husband you could want.”
Lorraine, affectionately called “Superwoman” by family members attending the vigil, thanked the nurses and doctors who she said “tried to do the best they could” to save her husband.
Dozens gathered outside the charred residence Sunday evening, clutching candles and joining in prayers of support for the Adams family, at one time breaking into chants of “Adams strong!”
“Continue to pray for us. Tell your loved ones you love them. Hug them. Squeeze them. Because you never know what tomorrow has promised,” Woodrow Adams Jr. said, vowing: “We will rebuild.”
The blaze shocked the community spurring an outpouring of support. A Go Fund Me page set up by the family — and that earned a retweet from Worcester native Denis Leary — had raised nearly $90,000 by Sunday evening.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Adams family during these difficult and tragic times,” Mayor Joseph Petty said in a statement.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting with the investigation. A cause has yet to be determined by Worcester fire officials, who have said the fire did not appear suspicious.