Girl scout troop honoring lives of four girls killed in Flora house fire

A Girl Scout troop is working to honor the memory of four girls who died in a fire. (WISH photo)

FLORA, Ind. (WISH) — Girl scouts from a local troop are hoping to honor the memories of four girls, who were killed in a house fire last year in Flora.

These past four months have been so difficult for students and staff at Carroll Elementary where the girls attended school.

The girl scouts came up with an idea for dedication benches. They hope it will bring comfort as they continue to grieve and cope with the tragedy.

Liz Brobst is in fifth grade. She said school will never be at the same again.

“Since the girls died like our school is just kind of sad now because like we’re missing four of our students and those four students they connected with a lot of teachers and a lot of students,” said Brobst.

The girls were sisters: Kionnie Welch, 5; Kerriele McDonald, 7; Keyara Phillips, 9; and Keyana Phillips, 11. They were killed in a house fire last Nov. in Flora. Investigators believe someone intentionally set their house on fire.

24-Hour News 8 checked with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security for an update on the investigation and was told, “The investigation is ongoing, and continues to include several partners, including State Fire Marshal Investigators with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Flora Fire Department,Flora Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

Cheyenne Collier said she lost her good friend Keyana and she will never forget their last conversation.

“The night before the fire that Friday, right before,” said Collier. “I just told her bye because she was leaving for the dance recital.”

Collier is part of Girl Scout Troop 198. Her troop came up with a project to renovate the school’s court yard. But after hearing about what happened to their four classmates, they decided to do something special to honor their memories.

“I think it’s going to bring happiness to the school and bring all the kids together more,” said Raylee Barnard, friend.

The troop is collecting caps with a goal of 800 pounds for the dedication benches. They have set up donation cans at local businesses and churches in Carroll County.

Each bench will represent the girls and their time at Carroll Elementary.

“She just said you know it’s a piece of them now, they won’t be forgotten,” said Jen Brobst, Girl Scout Troop 198 co-leader.

Girl Scout leaders said it’s the least they could do.

“A lot of times in the wake of tragedy, you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, there’s not anything you can do and any little small thing that people do can offer a little comfort somewhere,” said Millie Barnard, Girl Scout Troop 198 co-leader.

You can drop your cap donations at several businesses in Carroll County, including, Pizza King (Flora), Super Value (Flora), Marathon Gas Station (Flora), Save-A-Lot (Delphi).

You can also contact Jen Brobst at Carroll Elementary at 574-967- 4881.

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