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Teachers and students remember young classmates killed in fire

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

VIRGIE, Ky. (WYMT) - A community is trying to find a silver lining in the wake of a deadly fire.

The Jonancy community of Pike County was hit hard Wednesday after four children and their father died in an early morning fire.

Thursday we learned more about the two oldest children who attended Valley Elementary School.

On Thursday teachers and students remembered the children that some are calling "little angels." They say no words can express the loss.

"This is unreal, to lose two students, an entire family," said Dakota Wilfong's teacher Norita Collins.

Teachers and students at Valley Elementary spent most of the day honoring the two oldest children, Dakota and Tyler, who both went to school there.

"This is our coping strategy. What you see here," said Collins, pointing to the memorial they put together in the hallway.

Words of sorrow from young classmates, teddy bears for comfort, and a t-shirt that belonged to 5-year-old Dakota line the wall as you enter the school.

"We had one little girl who said 'Dakota's gone up to the sky to live with Jesus,'" said Collins.

Teachers at the school say even though the students are very young most of them are able to understand what has happened, and they are all just trying to help each other through it.

"They understand more than you think they do," said Tyler's Headstart teacher's aid Belinda Bentley.

Outside the boys' names stretch the fence coupled with balloons, one of Dakota's favorite things.

The boys' teachers say they are trying to help keep their memories alive.

"Dakota was funny. He was so funny. He was extremely active," said Collins.

Bentley said Tyler hated coloring and loved monster trucks.

"His big blue eyes, that blonde hair. He was a lovable child," she said.

They are making sure everyone knows the impact the young boys made in such a short time.

"All I can do is pray for them and do everything I can to make sure everybody remembers Dakota and Tyler," said Collins.

The boys' father, William Wilfong, and their sisters, 2-year-old Cheyenne and 6-month-old Emily, also died in the fire.

At last check their mother, Tammie Tucker, was listed in serious condition at UK Hospital.

The state fire marshal is still investigating what caused the fire.

Two memorial funds have been set up for the family. Donations can be sent to:

Community Trust Bank, Wilfong Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 269 VIRGIE, KY 41572.

U.S. Bank, Tucker-Wilfong Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 607 Virgie, KY 41572

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