CARBON COUNTY, Utah — The small community of East Carbon is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old who passed away from injuries sustained during a house fire this weekend.
“We’ve really never dealt with anything like this,” said neighbor Brandi Cross-Young. “I’ve been here 21 years and I don’t remember ever losing a child ever in our community.”
The child has been identified by family and friends as Holly Fox. Cross-Young lives down the street from the house and has children who were friends with Holly.
“It’s something that’s going to impact us for a while. It’s not just going to go away — it's going to tug at our hearts for a long time,” said Cross-Young, who helped to plan a community vigil for Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Sunnyside Park.
“It just breaks my heart to know that she’s not with us anymore,” said MaKiley Cross, who lives down the street.
Friends remember Holly for her warm heart and her caring characteristics. Those in the neighborhood called her "mother hen" because she used to take care of the younger kids in the area.
“It felt like she was my sister, basically, so it’s kind of like I lost my sister,” said Holly’s friend Maddie LaBorde.
As a town with roughly 1,600 people, even the East Carbon Police chief knew Holly.
“I am struggling a little bit with is. In fact, the little girl, I’m the DARE officer in town, and she’s actually in my DARE class so I see her once a week,” said Chief Sam Leonard. “And to even lose a child in any way is so rare for us, that this has been tough.”
Along with others in the town who wear multiple hats, Leonard drove the ambulance during this weekend’s tragic incident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire officials and law enforcement are awaiting autopsy results and findings from the State Fire Marshals Office.
Anyone who wishes to help with funeral expenses should contact Mitchell Funeral Home.