By Courtney Gousman
Edwardsville, IL (KSDK) - Edwardsville firefighters are still looking into the cause of Sunday's fire that claimed the lives of 19-year-old Lauren Petersen and 21-year-old Lacy Siddall.
The fire started in an upstairs bedroom of the off-campus apartment that the two SIUE students shared. Investigators are certain the cause of the fire is electrical in nature, are calling in an engineer to help determine the exact source.
While firefighters are looking for answers, students on campus say Wednesday night's candlelight vigil was a way to cope with this latest loss within the SIUE family.
Hugs to cope with the pain, and tears to wash some of it away.
Friends and fellow SIUE students came to share their stories about Petersen and Siddall.
"My heart is heavy because of the situation, but I do notice maybe more of a gloomy kind of vibe," said SIUE junior Sierra Smith.
Wednesday night friends and fellow students filled a book with well wishes and happy memories for the families of these two women.
The deaths of Petersen and Siddall are the latest of several tragic losses within the SIUE family.
"We've actually had five students that have passed in the last several months since the beginning of the year," said Vaughn Vandegrift, SIUE Chancellor.
Petersen and Lacy were childhood friends, best friends. Both are from Bethalto, and attended high school, and then college together.
"Lauren was selling Girl Scout Cookies at our door when she was five, and Lacy was six," said Luke Siddall, Lacy's brother.
They were also roommates in a home converted into apartments in the 600 block of Hillsboro, just minutes from campus. Firefighters say they were both pulled from an upstairs bedroom.
Even students from neighboring schools realized the tragedy, and felt compelled to be a part of Wednesday night's services.
"I think it's really important that the family knows that there are so many people here to support them at such a like tragic time," said Lewis and Clark Community College student, Jessica Gibbs.
Joint services for Lacy Siddall and Lauren Petersen are set for Thursday evening at Greater Alton Church of Christ. Visitation starts at 4 p.m., and funeral services start at 7 p.m. Family says the services will be open to the public.
There will also be a fashion show named in the student's honor, on Saturday at East Alton First United Methodist Church, at 7 p.m.