HICKORY, N.C. (WJZY) — Dozens of community members gathered to remember the two young lives lost in a devastating weekend fire in Hickory.
A lot of emotions were packed into West Hickory Park Monday night.
Community members and loved ones joined together to honor the lives of 8-year-old Madison and 7-year-old Kevin, Jr. who were killed in a house fire over the weekend.
“Our babies meant the world to us,” said Rebecca Johnston, the children’s mother.
With the kid’s photos illuminated in the candlelight, Rebecca and her boyfriend, Camo, held each other up physically and emotionally.
“This feels like a nightmare,” Johnston said.
Madison and Kevin died Saturday night when a huge fire ripped through their trailer.
Rebecca was at work and her boyfriend, who was watching the kids, left the home for a few minutes. While the kids were by themselves, the fire erupted.
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Neighbors say they tried getting the kids out, but the flames were too intense.
“I was broken and I was brought to tears. No one wants to lose children,” said Rev. Jeanette McConnouaghey with Morning Star First Baptist Church in Hickory.
Fire officials say they were unable to determine the cause of the fire due to the extensive damage to the home.
McConnouaghey says she’s spent time around the family in the past. Her grandkids would play with the children. She spoke highly of Johnston’s boyfriend’s parenting skills.
“He was really good with those kids, he loved them like they were his own,” McConnouaghey said.
Investigators say the home suffered such extensive damage they can’t determine the exact cause of the fire, but say it is unintentional.
The American Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay right now. A GoFundMe page has also been set up to assist the family and a local funeral home in Hickory has offered to waive the funeral expenses.