(13-WHAM & WHAM News) Family and friends sob and hug in front of the pillar that used to stand familiar; a place where family gatherings were held.
They gathered on Sunday to remember 67-year-old Airistine Gibson, a woman known to many as Tootsie.
“I'm gonna miss her, I miss her already,” said one close friend.
The blaze started around 2 a.m.
Gibson was home with one of her son's and her twin granddaughter's at the time; all except Gibson managed to escape.
Family members tell 13WHAM that Gibson suffered a bad stroke years go, leaving her paralyzed.
Gibson’s son and firefighters tried to save her, but the flames were too strong.
Gibson’s son was hurt trying to save her.
One firefighter was burned on his ear and face, another fell through the porch roof fighting to save a woman many say gave so much.
“She would literally give you the shirt off her back,” Daughter-In-Law Michelle Clinkscales said. “I've seen her take in so many people, she took me in when I was 15, she took me in and she raised me just like her own.”
“No matter who you are and how you lived, she loved you, she cared about you,” family member Charles Stallworth said.
Gibson also stood out for her work with the Rochester Police Department.
She also owned a security company.
But most of all, Gibson was known for her unconditional love for her community, which she considered her family.
“This is all love here, you couldn't meet a better person,” Stallworth said.
“We're a very close knit family; we'll just have to lean on each other, we all we have, take it one day at a time,” Clinkscales said.
Healing from the loss of a woman family say is unforgettable.
“She was a phenomenal woman, one thing is once you met her, you would definitely not forget her,” Clinkscales said.
Gibson's son was treated and released for his injuries.
The family says they would like to meet the firefighters who tried to help.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The home was heavily damaged, but it hasn’t been determined if it will have to be torn down.
Three firefighters and one resident of the house were taken to the hospital with injuries. None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening.