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HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Hundreds of family members, friends and even strangers went to Centennial Park in Hartsville Friday night to honor and show support for the four children who lost their lives in a tragic fire Wednesday.
Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington, one of the volunteer firefighters who helped put out the fire, opened the ceremony with an emotional speech
The only person missing from the vigil was the children's mother, Hope Hawkins, who has been charged with four counts of unlawful neglect of a child and four counts of homicide by child abuse. She is booked in the Darlington County Detention Center, according to Capt. Andy Locklair with the DCSO.
A moment of silence was held, and nearly everyone in the crowd held a candle for each child; four-year-old Delonte Dixon, two-year-old Camaron Hawkins and ten-month-old twin girls My'asia and Ky'nasia Hawkins.
"It's so touching," said Gwendolyn Hickman, Delonta's aunt. "Words can't explain."
Family members say the support from the community is a blessing.