Community comes together for fire victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community comes together for fire victims

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GREELEY (KWWL) -- A small Iowa community is rallying around two families who were in a fatal house fire last week. Siblings 14 year-old Abigail Zeil, 8 year old Tyler Hansen, 7 year old Megan Hansen, and 3 year old Haylee Hansen all died in a house fire just outside of Greeley last Wednesday.

On Sunday, the Greeley Community Church held an open prayer time where dozens of community members came together.

"I came out because I have six kids of my own, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose any one of them, let alone four, and I'm just heartsick for the family," Margaret Palmersheim said.

Friends, neighbors, and family members of those in Wednesday's fire trickled in, all offering prayers for those lost and those that survived. The older brother of the four children who died was one of those who came.

"It's probably still a case of shock for him. The magnitude of what's happened. I don't even know how you deal with that," Lay pastor Peter Buschmann said.

Buschmann grew up in the home that burned down. He along with other congregation members planned Sundays prayer time and donation drop off for money, food, or any other items for both families.

"We have a small community, and it just seems like when things like this happen that they always rally together. It doesn't matter if your Catholic, Methodist, black or white, it just seems like we always rally together," Palmersheim said.

"One of the problems of a little town is everybody knows your business. The upside of that is everyone cares. It's like being a family in a way," Buschmann said.

For everyone healing will take time, but helping the families will ease some of the pain.

"When there's children involved, we're all affected because children, as we all know, are our future. So, when lives are snuffed out that quick, that's part of our future gone," Palmersheim said.

Donations of money, clothing, or food can be dropped off at the Greeley Community Church, the Eagles Club in Manchester, or any Dupaco Credit Union (money only).

A memorial service for the four children has been set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Bohnenkamp-Murdock Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Manchester. Visitation is Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at a later date.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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