HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - An emotional gathering Tuesday night honored two young Henrico boys killed in a weekend fire. Friends and family stood in the rain to remember 16-year old Ashton Black and his 9-year old brother Aaron Brown. Their young lives were cut short after flames engulfed their East End home last Friday.
As fire investigators continue to search for a cause in the blaze, friends and family turned to each other for some sort of comfort. Around 200 people, young and old, shared their memories, prayers and tears.
Even with the charred remains of the house at 1901 Johnson Road serving as the backdrop, it is still hard for the group to believe their loved ones are actually gone.
"Until the day comes when I have to go to the funeral on Thursday I will never believe that it's come true," said friend Daysha Christian.
"It still feels like I'm in a dream but I realize one day I'll wake up and realize he's not here," said Asheli Black, sister.
The family is remembering 16-year old Ashton Black as a hero, saying he kept his 9-year old autistic brother Aaron alive until emergency crews arrived. Firefighters found both boys on the second floor.
"It's no words to explain how sad it is to see both brothers gone. And their family, we cannot replace anything that's gone from them," said Christian.
Asheli Black says the large group braving the rain to honor Ashton and Aaron, is a testament to the way they lived their lives, however short they may have been.
"I wish they could be here right now to see this. But I know that they're watching over us, seeing each and every one of these people. They're looking down on us," she said.
Henrico fire officials believe the blaze started on the first floor but they haven't been able to pinpoint an exact cause just yet. They say it's more difficult to piece together a timeline without any eyewitnesses. Funerals for the boys are scheduled for Thursday.