Virginia church opens its doors to community still reeling from death of firefighter

STERLING, Va. (DC News Now) — Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Church held Sunday night mass as scheduled – but this service was not just for parishioners.

People of all faiths came to the church for help coping with Friday’s house explosion that claimed the life of Trevor Brown, 45, a volunteer firefighter.

Firefighter killed in Sterling house explosion identified

“Naturally, it’s a tough time for the company,” said Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Chief David Short.

Brown worked there for just over six years at the time of his death.

“I served with him on my crew for quite a while,” Short said. “His loss is a major one for our company and for the community.”

Other firefighters joined the congregation as the service also paid tribute to Brown, and sought solace from what happened.

“To be able to offer some consolation and also to let them know that the community is in support of them, you know, and really appreciates the major sacrifices that they do and how they put themselves on the line all the time for us,” said Father Joel Jaffe.

Sterling House Explosion: Firefighter killed, others seriously hurt

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington extended the invitation to do that to anyone.

“This impacts all of us, and it’s a time of sorrow and grief and we need to be together,” said Bishop Michael Burbidge. “So Father said, no matter what denomination, what faith, let’s come together. Let’s pray for God’s healing, for the…strength and consolation we need.”

The tribute moved parishioners.

“The community comes together for stuff like this,” said Tom Bombardier, who attended the service with his wife, MaryAnn. “It’s sad we have to come together something like this.”

The church made itself available to first responders, and others still dealing with a tragic loss of a friend in the line of duty.

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