11-year-old girl dies in house fire after going back inside to save her dog — rest in peace

There are many animal lovers who would risk their lives for their beloved pets, and sadly that sometimes results in tragedy.

Recently, an 11-year-old girl died in a house fire after going back inside to try and save her dog.

A family home burned down in Spalding County, Georgia on Saturday night. It is yet unclear how the fire began, though authorities don’t suspect foul play.

The fire claimed the life of 11-year-old Katelynn Simonds, who reportedly died after going back into the burning house to save her pet dog, Little Man.

“She was worried about her dog upstairs, and she ran upstairs,” Katelynn’s uncle Charles Beecher told FOX 5 Atlanta. “Katelynn, she’s like us, an animal lover. She went upstairs and got that puppy.”

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But the heroic effort cost her her life: by the time Spalding County firefighters pulled her from the building, it was too late. Fire Marshal Rocky White reported that the child “unfortunately later succumbed to her injuries that she sustained by the fire.”

“Her step-dad and her step-uncle tried to go in after her, and to no success. They couldn’t get in,” Katelynn’s step-aunt Tressia Perry told WSB-TV.

Katelynn’s tragic death has devastated her family, who remember her as a happy and outgoing child. “She was a joy of life. She was a cheerleader. She was into everything. I mean, it’s heartbreaking,” her uncle said.

“It’s hard knowing I am not going to be able to see her again. It’s rough. I mean, 11 years old. Her life was just taken too early.”

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A GoFundMe page was set up Katelynn’s family, who are dealing with not just the devastating loss of their child but off their home and possessions. Raised funds will go towards housing, clothing and funeral services. There is also an in-person donation site at Carver Road Baptist Church in Griffin, Georgia.

“The family is struggling right now. They’re going through a hard time,” Perry told WSB-TV. “They’ll need furniture, dishes, all that stuff. I mean, they have totally lost everything.”

“This is the worst thing that could happen to a parent,” the fundraising page reads. “It’s unfathomable the pain and anguish [Katelynn’s mother] feels.”

What a heartbreaking tragedy — rest in peace Katelynn 💔😢 Our hearts go out to her family during this devastating time.