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Community Rallies Around Grieving Family

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By Fox 40 Staff.
Community members are rallying around a local family who lost four members in a Vestal house fire last week.

Tuesday night the community gathered at Susquehanna Valley High School to pay their respects to the Tarbox family.

Nearly 800 family members and friends attended Tuesday night's ceremony to remember and celebrate the lives of 33 year-old Nicole Tarbox and her three children: 13 year-old Evyn, 9 year-old Mya and 3 year-old Mariah.

Officials say that the four became trapped inside their Vestal home when the house caught fire last Thursday.

15-year-old Shawn Tarbox Jr. was in the home when the blaze began but was able to escape through a window.

Husband and father Shawn Tarbox was away from the home at the time.

On Tuesday night friends of the family shared memories, looked at pictures and wrote notes to the family.

Family Friend Dan Ondreyko says, "It was devastating. Having a family of my own, it's hard. I can only imagine how it hurts."

Another friend of the family, Kyle Novobilski says,"You don't expect it, you know. You always hear stories coming around the country and once it hits your community you're like 'wow, it's actually happening'. You try and support the family as much as you can."

"This community has rallied and is doing whatever it can to show their compassion and their love and support to the family during this tragic event," says Superintendent of Susquehanna Schools Roland Doig.

Supporters have created a GoFundMe page, which so far has raised over $67,000 for the family.

According to the victims' obituary a fund for the family has also been established at SEFCU at 3460 Vestal Parkway East in Vestal.