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Pastor on community's response following tragic motel fire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The family of the mother and 5 children who died in the Sodus Township motel fire is now receiving an outpouring of love and support from the community.

Thursday afternoon, ABC 57 News spoke with Pastor Nathaniel Wells, III, who will be helping with the funeral arrangements.

The funeral for Kiarre Curtis and 5 of her children will be held at the Greater Community Fellowship Christian Church in Benton Harbor on Saturday.

Pastor Wells says he’s never seen a community response like the one following the tragic fire at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel.

Pastor Wells knew Kiarre Curtis when she was growing up.

“We used to call her Keke,” said Pastor Wells. “When I first came here, she was a little girl and it was her grandmother, Sharon, who was raising her at that time.”

But as the years went by, the pastor and Kiarre lost contact.

“Just recently, when this tragedy happened, we learned who she was,” said Pastor Wells. “And so, here we are.”

The community response following the tragic fire has Pastor Wells pleased.

He says many people have come to him in an effort to lend their support.

“[People are] trying to reach out and contribute something to help this family. A wife, 5 children. A husband and a 1-year-old baby who are left behind,” said Pastor Wells. “You know that’s hurtful. You know, that’s really hurtful.”

Pastor Wells believes he’ll see more of the community’s support for the family at the funeral on Saturday.

“That’s what we have seen take place here in our community,” said Pastor Wells. “People just being moved by that compassion, by that love, and wanting to make a difference, and trying to help.”

Regardless of the situation, Pastor Well believes people should always try to assist those that may be struggling.

“When you see the need, there should automatically be a reaction,” said Pastor Wells. “Because if God lives in us, the response should come out as a flow of love.”

According to Pastor Wells, a lesson to be learned is always being aware of those around us, and the struggles they may be facing at that time.

That way, we can have a positive impact in their lives through empathy and sympathy.

The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

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