Candlelight vigil planned for West York boy, 8, who died after house fire

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch
A memorial stands at 1567 Poplar Terrace in West York, Monday, July 5, 2021. A fire at the home on Saturday claimed the life of Elijah Hawkins, 8. Bill Kalina photo

Community members are invited to a candlelight vigil for a West York family that lost a child after a recent house fire. 

The vigil will be at a memorial site outside the family's home, 1567 W. Poplar Terrace, at 8 p.m. Thursday, according to a charity Facebook page called "Helping the Hawkins."

A July 3 fire, believed to have been  caused by an improperly discarded firework, ignited the home. Four people were at the residence — Jacob and Brittany Hawkins and their children, Elijah and Evan. 

Elijah, 8, died of injuries he suffered in the fire. Evan, 6, also suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized, but his condition began to improve last week, according to Jacob Hawkins. 

More:West York boy injured in fire that killed brother 'doing fantastic'

Evan Hawkins (left) and Elijah Hawkins (right) pose with youth bowling league awards in this 2019 photo. Elijah died of injuries suffered in a house fire July 3. Evan is recovering from injuries in a hospital.

Event organizers are bringing 200 candles to the vigil for those in attendance, the Facebook page posted. 

Counselors and donations: Grief counselors are still available for schoolchildren in West York, the district where Elijah was enrolled. Counselors are available at Lincolnway Elementary School, 2625 W. Philadelphia St., from 10 a.m. through noon Monday through Thursday.

More:West York School District making counselors available after student's death

GoFundMe campaign for the Hawkins family is approaching its $100,000 goal. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,400 donors raised more than $89,000 for the family through the "Help the Hawkins family" campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/f/mev5y-help-the-hawkins-family.

The "Helping the Hawkins" Facebook page, which had been soliciting donations of items such as food, clothes and furniture for the family, now has most items that the family needs. As of Monday, the only items being accepted are gift cards and sympathy cards.

People can deliver cards to the West York Borough Police Station, 1381 W. Poplar St.