Enfield teen killed in fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Enfield teen killed in fire

Credit Dwayne and Sarah Thomas Credit Dwayne and Sarah Thomas

A 13-year-old girl in Enfield was killed when her home caught fire Wednesday night and now, a community is coming together to mourn her loss.

The fire broke out at the home on Hassmar Road in the Shaker Pines section of town around 11:30 p.m., according to emergency officials.

Firefighters from Enfield and several surrounding communities said when they arrived at the home, fire was coming from the windows.

To make matters worse, fire officials said, downed power lines surrounded the home and most of the home's ceiling caved in.

Fire officials said the mother and her boyfriend were able to escape the home, but one family member, 13-year-old Hope Hart-Hartnett, was unable to escape and was killed.

"It's pretty tough," said Pat Hart, the girl's uncle. "Tough to lose any family member, but real tough to lose them in this manner."

Hope Hart-Hartnett was in eighth grade at JFK Middle School.

"She was something else. Always walking around the neighborhood," said Pat Hart. "She loved fishing, loved this lake, fishing, swimming, like a fish, always on the lake whether it was in a boat or on the water itself; she just loved it."

Hope's father tried to pull her out of the fire, but firefighters had to pull him back out.

"I heard the deck fall. I just couldn't look out," said neighbor Joy Pehl. "I stayed awake in my bed and I found out about Hope this morning, so sad."

Because of the intensity of the fire, the girl's body was unable to be removed from the home until Thursday morning. The body was found in an upstairs bedroom.

Investigators with the state fire marshal's office are at the home investigating what caused the massive fire. However, it is not believed to be suspicious at this time. 

Fire officials said three firefighters were sent to a local hospital after a deck they were on collapsed while fighting the fire. All three were treated at an area hospital and have been released.

The mother also suffered burns to her hands and was taken to an area hospital, according to neighbors.

A candlelight vigil is planned for 8 p.m. at the home. The fire department is expected to bring a truck to help light. A memorial has been started outside of the home with flowers.

"The guys take it hard, and if you know firefighters, they tried their best to get into the house. They made several attempts to get in there and were turned back by heavy, heavy fire each time," said Shaker Pines Fire District Chief Charles Macsata. "They're not happy. Believe me, they'll sit around the kitchen table at the fire station and talk about it."

Grief counselors will be made available for students at JFK Middle School and a moment of silence was held in Hope Hart-Hartnett's memory Thursday morning.

"If you were having a bad day, she would just help you out and talk to you and make you feel better," said 11-year-old Evan Thibodeau.

Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on this story.

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