(CBS) — Two West Side residents risked gang retaliation to help solve a cold case received a big honor Wednesday.

Fourteen years ago, two store clerks died in a shocking mid-day firebombing. Sharon Bell and Anthony Muldrow were there that day and got a glimpse of the arsonists.

Bell is still too scared to talk. Muldrow was shaken by what he saw.

“I thought about the girl then her son was outside, standing outside with me,” Muldrow said. “He was trying to run up in the store and save his momma. A kinda hurtful feeling for me…They were nice young ladies. Very heartbreaking that they lost their life.

Today all that’s left of Mike & Sons convenience store is a concrete slab. Neighbors remember a victim and the shocking crime.

Authorities say the fire was set to collect insurance money. Whoever gave the orders is still out there. Anthony Muldrow is just glad he was a witness for the prosecution.

“It always makes you feel good when you can help somebody,” said Muldrow. “They gave me a thousand dollar check. I wasn’t expecting it and you know during this time around Christmas time it’s a blessing.”

Cash was awarded to a number of witnesses in several successful arson prosecutions. The money is donated by a private insurance group dedicated to low-income property owners.

Prosecutor Anita Alvarez believes ceremonies like today’s encourage more witnesses out of the shadows.