Friends and family hold balloon release to remember Qwa’Jay Briscoe

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 11:55 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - On Thanksgiving night, family and friends gathered in Kinston to celebrate the life of Qwa’jay Briscoe, 8, who passed away in a mobile home fire last Sunday.

His grandmother, Rose Rufus Hicks, says his mark on the community was felt far and wide.

“He touched so many lives and so many people in eight years,” Hicks said. “I hate that he’s gone, but while he was here he accomplished more than all of us.”

The third-grader was trapped inside a mobile home when it went up in flames on Nov. 21.

His older sister, 10-year-old Zsakiyah Sutton, says she attempted to save him but the flames were too intense.

“I really didn’t want to lose my brother, but I couldn’t see and I couldn’t breathe,” Zsakiyah said. “I feel like my brother was a little bit too young to die so I tried to get him but I couldn’t see and I couldn’t breathe.”

On the night of Thanksgiving, those who loved Qwa’jay released pledged to keep his legacy alive.

“He showed love, respect, he played with every single last one of your children,” Hicks said.

A car and truck show will also happen in memory of Qwa’jay at the Lenoir County Fairgrounds this Saturday at 2 p-m.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

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