EAST DURHAM, N.Y. -- As the community grieves the five lives lost Monday during a fire in East Durham, there are still many unanswered questions.
Not much is left of the Route 145 home that caught fire Monday, killing five people. Fire investigators are digging through the rubble and taking down the little bits of structure that remain.
Since investigators left the scene Tuesday afternoon, people have been leaving flowers and paying their respects. One of those people is Ana Mehl. Her sister, Mary Mammano, and four other family members died Monday. She says what happened Monday is still surreal.
"It just hasn’t hit me yet," she said. "Hasn’t hit me, because I haven’t stopped and realized I can’t call her anymore."
In the blink of an eye, Mehl lost a sister, a brother-in-law, two great-nephews and one great-niece.
"I drove by the house and they gave me a whole bunch of burnt up stuff, reeked of smoke," Mehl said, "and they just put them in my hands and I was like, 'OK.' "
Mehl says no day passed without a call to her sister. Now, she faces a new, dark reality.
"We were very close," Mehl said. "She was ... right here, my whole life, right here."
Signs in support of the Mammano family could be seen all over.
"It’s unbelievable," said Cairo-Durham Little League Baseball President Jesse Walz. "You don’t think that things like this can happen in your community."
Walz coached 10-year-old Jonathan Mammano just last year.
"Fun boy; always had a smile on his face," Walz said. "Wasn’t the best ball player, but always gave it 110 percent."
The organization holds annual benefit dinners. This year, Walz says, the proceeds are going toward the Mammano family.
Mehl says she just saw her sister and the rest of family Sunday night for Easter. Tuesday, she left for Syracuse, where her nephew is still in a burn unit.