Funeral announced for 11-year-old girl killed in Spalding County house fire

Katelynn and Little Man (Photo submitted by family)

The family of a Spalding County 11-year-old who died while trying to save her dog from a house fire over the weekend announced plans for her funeral. 

Katelynn Simonds will be laid to rest on Friday at 4 p.m. at Conner-Westbury Funeral Home in Griffin. A visitation is also set for Friday between 2:30 and 4 p.m.

Spalding County firefighters say the deadly fire happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday at a home just outside of Griffin city limits on Sidney Drive. Investigators say the fire originated in the downstairs area of the home and no foul play is suspected. 

"At the conclusion of the investigation, based on information obtained, the fire was determined to have been accidental in nature," said Capt. Rocky White, a Spalding County Fire Marshal. 

Family members say Simonds was in the home when the fire started and went upstairs to grab her dog, but Katelynn and the dog never would make it out. Her family told FOX 5 Reporter Tyler Fingert, her brother and two others were home when the fire broke out.

Katelynn’s loss has been difficult for the family. 

"Katelynn was the happiest little girl full of life, loved to laugh," her mom told FOX 5. "I will remember my sweet baby by her big heart, her sweet smile and all the ways she has helped others."

"Katelynn was the most beautiful girl, she has the purest heart, her laughter was contagious and usually followed with a silly dance," her cousin told FOX 5. "She lit up every room she ever walked in and we love her and will miss her tremendously."

A day after the fire, family members and neighbors created a memorial for Katelynn. The community has also raised more than $8,000 through a GoFundMe to help the family. 

Infinity Nutrition at 1715 Highway 16 in Griffin says it has set up a donation box for the family and is giving 25% of the proceeds of a drink they have named "Katelynn's Tea" to the family. Additionally, Act Now Liquidation is hosting a raffle in order to raise money for the family.