Memorial for Mizpah Fire Victims

By: Joe Harrington
By: Joe Harrington

Friends and family of those killed in the October 31st fire at the Mizpah Hotel remembered their loved-ones Saturday. A memorial for the 12 victims of the fire was held at the Trinity Episcopal Church downtown.

Twelve candles were lit. Some cried as the names of the victims were read.

Amelia Hoff lost her nephew, Christopher Covert. "He was just a baby, he was only 22, he was into his artwork and he was just a good kid," Hoff said.

Eight victims have been identified. According to the Associated Press, they are: "Gregory Wiltse, Ernest Duarte, Paul Drum Smith, Christopher Covert, Nadine
Nicodemus, Phillip Bridges, Jeremy Wren and Alford Yates." The AP also reported four victims have not yet been identified.

"I knew several of the residents. I haven't seen a couple of my friends and I come down here maybe to possibly see their names," Larry Jones, who attended the memorial, said.

Some representatives from Reno's police and fire departments also attended.

"We're in this business because we care about people, we like do what we can to help people, and sometimes we can save lives and sometimes we can't," Reno Fire Battalion Chief Bob Knoll said.

Denotra Edwards lived at the Mizpah Hotel, but said she was not home the night of the deadly fire. Edwards attended the memorial to remember two of her friends. One, Jeremy Wren, showed bravery during the conflagration, Edwards said. "He was banging on doors trying to get people out of there and he died in the fire himself trying to help everybody else," she said.

Some said the memorial was about trying to find some closure.

"I know Christopher's in a better place, and in my heart, and we love and we miss him," Hoff said.


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