Family, friends attend vigil for Reading boy, 10, killed in fire

Jesus Velazquez was trapped on the third floor of his home

Vigil honors 10-year-old killed in fire

READING, Pa. - Friends and neighbors came out to support a grieving family Thursday night, days after a 10-year-old boy was killed in a fire.

The church was filled with a lot of tears and a few laughs as family and friends reminisced about 10-year-old Jesus Velazquez. Although he lived a short life, Valezquez touched a lot of lives.

"I lived with them for like a year and those kids were real close to me. It is hard. It is really hard," said family friend Miguel Vasquez.

More than 100 people came to Saint Luke's Lutheran Church on North 9th Street in Reading to support the Valezquez family after Jesus died last Friday.

"He is a delightful guy. He always has a sparkle in his eye, a big smile on his face. He is incredibly loving," said St. Luke's Pastor Rebecca Knox.

Jesus got trapped in a fire at his home in the 1100 block of Elm Street on January 3rd.

Family and neighbors tried rescuing him but, in the end, it was the firefighters who pulled him from the home and transported him to Reading Hospital. There he died.

"It was crushing for the few kids that I was with when they found out. They just dissolved into tears. It is hard to believe that such a vivacious person could be no longer living," said Knox.

For three hours, family and friends shared memories of him and showered the family with love and support.

"The kids, the brothers and sisters, they are the ones that are taking it the hardest. We have to be there for them," said Vasquez.

"We came out to support them and bring some clothes because I know they are going to really need it," said family friend Alicia Orozco.

"We are praying for you. As a church, we want to support you," said family friend Kevin Martin.

The family is holding a private funeral Friday. But if you still want to show your support, there is an event on Sunday from noon until 7 p.m. at Little Brown Jug at 900 Lancaster Ave in Reading.

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