SILSBEE - Dozens of people gathered at Silsbee High School’s auditorium to pray for Ashley Pickering and her family.
Pickering, 31, and her five children, ranging from three to eleven-years-old, died after their apartment north of Silsbee caught fire early Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, the community rallied to support the Pickering and Mattox family.
Jon Mattox, an uncle of the children says he was grateful the community showed their support to his family.
"I had a special bond with all of them, with all the kids and with the dad as my brother, but like I said, words can't explain how one is feeling right now," Mattox said.
In wake of the tragedy, Pastor Chris Bottoms from Friendship Baptist Church was one of several ministers who led prayer vigils to provide some comfort to family and friends.
Bottoms says he has never seen heartache strike a community like Silsbee, which is still dealing with blows from Tropical Storm Harvey, the deaths of Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie and Tristan Dilley.
"This is our community needing healing, needing comfort and needing strength and we're going to the only source that can provide that for us," Bottoms said.
Mattox thanked those at the prayer vigil for their support.
"Being here tonight lets me know that we have a community that's close knit, and understanding grief, and understanding that we're all going through this as a community, not as individuals," Mattox said.
Pickering’s children, Camden Mattox, 3, twins Cavence and Cash Mattox, 4, Serenity Mattox, 7 and Christian Mattox, 11 died in the fire, according to Silsbee Fire Chief Robin Jones.
Hardin County Precinct Two Justice of the Peace Charles Brewer says initial investigations indicate the fire was accidental and no foul play is suspected.
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