Community in Enfield plans fundraisers in teen's memory - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Community in Enfield plans fundraisers in teen's memory

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ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Enfield community members are remembering a 13-year-old girl, who died in a fire at her home in October, by holding fundraisers to start a scholarship in her name.

Months later, it's still hard for Mike Hart to talk about losing his daughter, Hope Hart-Hartnett.

"She was a happy kid. She loved everybody, never said anything bad about anyone," Mike Hart said. "I want everyone to remember how she was real friendly and got along with everybody. Everyone around the lake loved her."

On Oct. 24, Hope was home with her mother and her mother's boyfriend when the fire began just before midnight. Mike Hart, who was living at his father's house across the lake, spotted the flames, and ran over to help.

"I asked where my daughter was and then said she was upstairs and I tried getting up there," he said.  "But, I couldn't."

Despite his and the firefighters' best efforts, Hope didn't make it out. Her family has spent the past three months dealing with her death.

"It hits you at the most awkward times that she's gone," said Hope's uncle, Daniel Hart. "It's something that'll stick with us for the rest of our lives. That's kind of the way I want it. I don't ever want to forget her."

Community members of Shaker Pines Lake are putting together a series of fundraisers with the first coming up this Saturday.

The Scholarship Fund Dinner will be held at Enfield Elks Lodge on Feb. 9 from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for people from ages 9 to 16 and $1 for 8-years-old and under. Tickets can be purchased at the following site.

The eighth grader loved music and loved to sing. Neighbors want to start a scholarship fund in her name that will go to a middle school aged students interested in studying music.

"She was part of this community in a big way, she really was a sweet little girl," said neighbor Nelson Rodriguez. "How could you not do something in her name so she won't be forgotten?"

Mike Hart said the outpouring of support does provide some comfort and right now, he needs it.

"Everybody loses someone in their life at some point," he said. "But, losing a child, I've found that is the worst."

Shaker Pines Fire Chief Charlie Macsata told Eyewitness News the cause of the fire was ruled accidental. The state fire marshal is still working on a final report.

At this point, the fire department doesn't know if there were smoke detectors inside the home.

Macsata said he wanted to remind everyone in Enfield that the department received a grant. Any Enfield resident can stop by the fire house and pick up a smoke detector for free.

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