George Firefighters Dealing With Loss in Fatal Fire, Central Lyon School Fundraises for Funeral
GEORGE, IA – An early morning house fire in George claimed the life of a nine-year-old girl this weekend.
The fire started just after midnight Sunday.
The State Fire Marshal has not released information as to what caused the fire, but the home is a total loss.
“They lost everything. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose everything valuable in your possession, including a young child,” said George Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Sprock.
Riley Meyer has been identified as the victim in the fire.
Firefighters who were called to the scene are still dealing with the loss.
“For a small town volunteer fire department things like this really hit at home. Most of the guys on the squad have children of this own so it is a really tough instance to deal with something like this,” said Chief Sprock.
The fire started around midnight, crews were on scene just moments after.
“They tried to make entry into the house and with the stability of the structure it was not a good situation to go into the house,” said Chief Sprock.
A stress management counselor is being called in to work with George and mutual aid firefighters to help them manage their emotions, but the loss is being felt beyond the community of George.
“Not only do you have one community, but you have two communities that are feeling the loss,” said Central Lyon Elementary and Middle School Principal Steve Harman. “And yet it’s great to see how they are pulling together.”
Riley was a third grade student at Central Lyon Elementary School in Rock Rapids.
“The big thing that we talked about with the students is we may not have the answers why, we may not be able to understand what happened or why it happened, but that we had a very nice young lady, a great student and a great friend and that we need to find a way to honor her, but then move on,” said Harman.
The school has counselors and a crisis management plan to help students grieve.
District officials met with Riley’s family, and have set up a GoFundMe page to help.
“This family expressed that they would not be able to have a proper funeral and so we took it upon ourselves to find a go fund me account so that this young lady can have a proper funeral.”
In just a matter of hours, the $5,000 fundraising goal was met and exceeded.
Riley Meyer Funeral Expenses GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/riley-meyer-funeral-expenses
The Pizza Ranch restaurant in Rock Rapids is also collecting donations, as well as money and gift cards for the family.