Family and friends try to make sense of the tragedy
It's been two days since a massive explosion destroyed a house in Washington County, leaving five people dead and six others badly hurt. The Salem community continues to mourn as family members try to make sense of the tragedy. Megan Cruz has that story.
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SALEM, N.Y. -- "It's not a time to worry about what happened. It's a time for mourning for the families to say their goodbyes, because no one was ready for this."
Clothes and other belongings hang in trees above where a house once stood.
"It's absolutely gut-wrenching. We just didn't expect it to look like this."
Family and friends visit the site of Wednesday's explosion for the first time. They've come to say goodbye to someone they've lost.
"Claire-Bear is her nickname, and she always greeted everyone with a smile," said Valerie Wells, aunt.
Clarissa Porlier, 19, was one of the 11 in the house at the time of the explosion, which claimed her life and the lives of four others.
"She was in culinary arts school because she had the gift of bringing something special out of everything," Valerie Wells said.
They say she always brought joy to others.
"She's done so much for all of us when it came to making things for her when she had her baby to birthday cakes to everything - always helping out in any way she can."
Porlier leaves behind her parents, a brother, and two sisters. Those here say they came here to help the family through this loss.
"It's the saddest thing that she won't be around to spend Christmas and holidays, and she all about family - family was the number one thing to her."
They also say leaving something where Claire lost her young life was important to them.
"We love you Claire, and you'll never be forgotten, you'll always be with us."