CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — More than a hundred community leaders, neighbors, friends and educators gathered Friday night in a grassy field at the Chapman Homes duplex in Concord, to pray over the lives of three children killed over the weekend.
Danielle, 16; Stephen, 15; and Emmanuelle Kueviakue, 11, passed away after a fire inside their home Sunday around 1 in the morning.
Emmanuelle and Stephen died in the fire, while Daniella passed away at the hospital a few hours later.
Their mother was at work at the time of the blaze.
While the investigation into the fire continues, neighbors have brought up several concerns regarding safety. But Friday night was a moment of focus on the children.
“All of those who had dealings with these children and family, we ask them, oh God, to keep them in strength and spirit,” a pastor said, praying with the crowd.
Prior to Friday’s vigil, the mother of the children arrived at the house where she prayed over her children.
Situ Felicienne Lawson-Kueviakue then hung balloons — one for each of her children — and then touched the wooden panels which covered the empty window placements blown out by the fire.
She then sat and prayed with the rest of the mourners.
Also in attendance were teachers who either knew or had the children in their classes. They wore “Concord Strong” T-shirts.
One of those educators, Denise Foster, told Queen City News that she taught all three victims.
“All of them, they were all very likable,” Foster said. “They were all very, relatively quiet, but a good sense of humor. Quirky. Kids to be treasured.”
As Lawson-Kueviakue plans three funerals, individuals have donated money to help her through a GoFundMe page.