School garden dedicated in memory of Sept. 2016 fire victims

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A house fire last September claimed the lives of 10 people, including five elementary-aged students and a 16-year-old.

Now, nearly seven months after their deaths, one school those children attended are keeping their memory alive.

By commemorating the brand-new Cummings Elementary School garden, the South Memphis community showed a family who lost six of their children in a tragic house fire that their memory will never be forgotten and they will always be here to support their family.

Life now sprouts from the worst day for a Memphis father when he lost so many children in just one night.

This garden isn't a reminder of that unimaginable tragedy, it sprouts memories of the innocence that lived.

Despite the months that have passed since that September night, the moment brought back the emotions that lay beneath the soil. This ceremony intended to send a clear message to the family.

"You will always be in our hearts and a part of our family," said Dr. Cynthia Alexander-Mitchell with Shelby County Schools. "And thank you for sharing your angels with us."

On hand for the commemoration were members of the Memphis Fire Department, including some of the firefighters that worked to save the lives of the family members that night. In addition, the Memphis Fire Department dalmatians also attended. Fire Department officials said fire prevention education is the key to saving lives and will continue to work toward saving the lives of others and educating Memphians on fire prevention.

For the father who lost his family, it's taken a community to grow back his heart.

"Just to have that love. That's what I lost man... I mean, it can't be replaced but it's being restored you dig?" said Ernest Jett Jr.

The family can't wait for the Cummings Elementary children to dig into this soil to learn and to play in honor of their lost friends.

"It's really beautiful. And I know it's going to be really beautiful once they get everything down," said grandfather Ernest Jett Sr.

Thursday was another step forward for the family and for the community. From the horror grows some beauty.

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