Memorial to celebrate 3 children who died in Centralia fire

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CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) — A memorial service March 23 will celebrate the lives of three children who died in a Centralia house fire.

Their mother, Sue Tower, told The Chronicle newspaper of Centralia her children excelled in school.

She recalled how 7-year-old Sam loved playing soccer, 10-year-old Madeline liked to read and 12-year-old Ben was a natural with chickens the family had adopted.

“He was full of life and spirit and so funny, so sweet,” Tower told the paper about her youngest son, Sam. “Those hugs were what I lived for.”

The children were sleeping in upstairs bedrooms when flames tore through the home just before 1 a.m. March 4. Their mother, who sleeping on the bottom floor, was unable to reach them.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Tower says the home had electrical problems.

She thanked first responders and community members for their support.

Hundreds of people attended vigils in Centralia and Olympia. On the day of the fire, both houses of the Legislature held moments of silence for the family. Their father Brad Tower is a state lobbyist.

A celebration of life will be held March 23 at Northwest Sports Hub at 701 Allen Ave. in Centralia. The public is welcome to attend, according to The Chronicle.

“It’s just a tribute to my children’s life,” she said. “I really hope no one comes in black.”