A single flower was placed Saturday at the spot where Harley Lawrence died six months ago.

Two men were charged on Friday with first-degree murder in his death. Residents of Berwick, N.S., told CBC News they were happy charges had been laid and the case can move into the courts. 

Family members said they are relieved, but need time to think about what has happened before speaking publicly. 

One woman said she'd had trouble sleeping since the October killing of the homeless man as his attackers remained free. 

For it to happen in such a small town, and for two local men to be charged, came as a shock to many. 

Resident Carol Cook said the arrests were a relief.

"It will give the family closure. I'm just glad it's over with," she said. 

"When I heard the news yesterday, I broke down and cried. I just felt a relief knowing people are going to be safer here in Berwick."

Harley Lawrence died in a fire at this bus shelter last year

Harley Lawrence died in a fire at this bus stop last year. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

Cook said it was likely hard on the families of the men accused as well.

"It's a sad thing, but we've got to get through it," she said. 

Daniel Wayne Surette, 26, and Kyle James Fredericks, 25, were arrested early Friday morning, ending months of suspicion and mystery surrounding Lawrence's death.

The 62-year-old man's body was found in the morning hours of Oct. 23. At the time, he was homeless and sleeping on the streets of Berwick.

There is still no official cause of death. Witnesses told CBC News they saw two young men fill up a jug with gasoline shortly before the bus shelter was engulfed in flames. 

A pastor in the Nova Scotia community agreed there is some relief for the community.

But John Andrew said there is still a painful road ahead for Lawrence's family.

Andrew, who is a family friend and knew Lawrence through the homeless shelter he runs in Kentville, said the healing can't truly begin until there's a conviction.

He said hearing the details of the case will be difficult for the entire community.

with files from the Canadian Press