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Community Hosts Vigil to Honor Two Children Killed in Johnson City Fire

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Dozens gather at the corner of Floral Avenue in Johnson City to honor the lives of two children who were killed in a house fire that was intentionally started last night.

The two brothers, ages three and four, lost their lives in the blaze and the two women, Jessica Baxter and Erica Kurtz, were severely burned. Kurtz was the children's mother.

"Erica and Jessica were such good people and Erica's kids didn't deserve to die," said Angel Baxter, Jessica's sister. "You can't replace them."

"You can't replace babies, you just can't," said Patricia Baxter, Jessica's mother. "And nobody did anything to stop it. Why? Why in God's name would you harm innocent people and destroy families and friends? Why?"

Police say 38-year-old Dwight Burton used an accelerate to start the fire on purpose to hurt Baxter.

He is currently in Broome County Jail after being charged with first degree murder and arson.

Vigil Organizer Christopher Hranek said he organized the event because he lost his young daughter to a heart condition two years ago and knew the pain the family was in.

"I just felt it was my duty as a neighbor even though we had no connection with them but we're all connected as a neighborhood," said Hranek. "I felt that nothing was being done so I said hey we got Facebook and the news is all right here to get the message out and I'm very shocked of how many people turned out."

Hranek said only 11 people RSVP'ed on Facebook but around 200 people showed up tonight.

If convicted of the charges, Burton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.