Hundreds gather for vigil held for Pratt mother and four children

PRATT, Kan. (KWCH) -- Hundreds of family and friends in the Pratt community came out on Saturday to remember Charee Wheatley and her four children.

Green balloons were released at the candlelight vigil for Charee's favorite color.

Saturday evening was an emotional one for those in the Pratt community grieving the loss of Charee and her children Reece, Timmy, River and Harley.

The children died in a house fire last month then their mother passed away just two days later at a local hospital from carbon monoxide poisoning.

More than 500 balloons were released and countless candles lit in their honor at the vigil.

A close family friend who organized the vigil wants people to remember Charee and her children for how she knew them.

"Happy, lovable people. Very happy people and very loved people," says Cassandra Verstraete, family friend.

The funeral for Charee and her four children will take place on Wednesday morning at the First United Methodist Church in Pratt.

The five were killed in a house fire Jan. 25.

The four Wheatley children were killed in the fire. Their mother was taken to a local hospital where she died two days later.

Pratt police say the family was trapped in the basement when the fire broke out.

The Kansas Fire Marshal's Office says it's waiting on lab results to accurately identify the cause of the fire.