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Neighbors unite to remember Norwalk family killed in fire

By JOE CENTERS • Jun 8, 2018 at 2:00 AM

Making the best out of a bad situation.

That’s what they are trying to do on a little street in Norwalk. Residents of Park Ridge Court gathered Saturday to put a memorial garden in the cul-de-sac. It is just a few hundred feet away from the boarded-up home where three people died in the late January fire.

Rebecca and Bob Griggs Jr., along with their adult disabled son, James, perished in the early-morning house fire Jan. 26.

It was the first multiple-fatality fire the community has seen for at least as long as Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson can remember.

The Griggs were known for their caring nature, which led them to serve as a loving foster family, in addition to raising their own four children, including three who survive them — Rob (Cali) Griggs, of Sandusky; Tricia (Scott) Costanzo, of Norwalk; and Dan (Lucia) Griggs, of Norwalk.

Shelly Reineck, Rebecca’s sister, said the garden will help everybody with the healing process.

“Their neighbors have to look at that house every day,” she said. “It was great to see them all come together for this garden.

“People need to open their eyes and look at the positive. Try to make something good.”

After the fire the non-profit organization Norwalk Eagle Riders stepped up with a pancake breakfast benefit at the Norwalk Eagles Club. 

The breakfast raised $8,000 for the Griggs family, but insurance covered some of the burial costs. When it was over, there was $4,000 left and the children donated that money to a local girl hoping to get a service dog.

“It was the right thing to do,” Reineck said. “This was a great thing for the community.”

“This is sad but we want to move on. We are getting a lot of support from the community.

“Norwalk is a great place.”

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