Midlands community mourns 2 kids, father killed in house fire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Midlands community mourns 2 kids, father killed in house fire

(Source: Allie Spillyards/WIS) (Source: Allie Spillyards/WIS)

A family was ripped apart Sunday when a devastating house fire killed two children and a man overnight. 

The Fairfield County coroner identified the victims as 29-year-old Justin Wilson, 8-year-old Kemya Coleman, and 6-year-old Deshawn Wilson.

Family and neighbors say Wilson was both the father and stepfather to the kids. Their mother and grandmother, who also live in the home, weren’t there at the time of the fire.

"It hits close to home when you know the family and you know how sweet and loving the children were," Edwana Paolino said. "It hurts because I knew that family. I knew those children."

SLED is now helping the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department and coroner’s office investigate the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, those who live nearby are missing the smallest victims who they say spent a lot of time hanging around the neighborhood.

"They were really sweet kids. The little boy, he was just a trip. He was really funny. He called himself Mac Daddy. The little girl was more reserved, but she was a really sweet kid," Paolino said.

Sheriff Will Montgomery released a statement on Facebook Monday saying: 

First, we want to keep the families and friends of these victims in our thoughts and prayers. The loss of life is always hard, but it is especially difficult when children are involved.

Secondly, we want to commend the heroic and selfless efforts of our local firefighters, EMS personnel, and law enforcement officers.

Although this ended tragically, these first responders worked together and risked their lives in an effort to save these victims. We realize that this tragedy affected them, too, and ask that the community keeps them in their thoughts and prayers also.

This is still an on-going investigation and we are working with SLED and the Fairfield County Coroner’s Office to determine the cause of this fire.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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