'This is such a tragedy': Vigil held for 12-year-old girl killed in Creve Coeur house fire

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Mourners gather around a photo of Madelynn McCain, 12, surrounded by candles, flowers and stuffed animals near the site of a house fire that took her life on November 24 in Creve Coeur. Family, friends and neighbors gathered for a candlelight vigil at the spot Saturday, Nov. 24, 2021 in Creve Coeur.
Mourners gather around a photo of Madelynn McCain, 12, surrounded by candles, flowers and stuffed animals near the site of a house fire that took her life on November 24 in Creve Coeur. Family, friends and neighbors gathered for a candlelight vigil at the spot Saturday, Nov. 24, 2021 in Creve Coeur.

Family, neighbors and friends of 12-year-old Madelynn B. McCain, who was killed in a house fire Wednesday night, gathered near the site of her Creve Coeur home to remember a little girl who could "light up the room" when she was around.

Candles were lit, a prayer was said and balloons in McCain's favorite colors – blue, gold and purple – were brought to the vigil on Saturday night.

According to McCain's mother Margaret and sister Isabella, Madelynn loved to drink coffee, play Roblox, Facetime her friends, and eat pizza, avocado toast and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Previously: 12-year-old girl killed in early-morning Creve Coeur house fire

"She was just really funny and would brighten everybody's smile," Isabella McCain said of her sister. "We went through everything together."

Margaret McCain expressed love for her daughter, adding that the police and fire department have been "amazing" during her family's ordeal.

Angie Hardin, McCain's neighbor, organized the vigil for Madelynn, and said she was a "very sweet little girl" and "very kind."

Well-wishers hang balloons on caution tape surrounding the area of a house fire that killed Madelynn McCain, 12, on November 24 in Creve Coeur. The balloons, many in her favorite colors, were part of a candlelight vigil held Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at the site.
Well-wishers hang balloons on caution tape surrounding the area of a house fire that killed Madelynn McCain, 12, on November 24 in Creve Coeur. The balloons, many in her favorite colors, were part of a candlelight vigil held Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at the site.

What happened in the fire

Madelynn was having a sleepover with a friend for her 12th birthday on Nov. 24 when a fire completely engulfed her home on the 500 block of Groveland Street in Creve Coeur.

Madelynn's friend was able to escape through a window on the upper-level of the home where Madelynn's body was discovered, according to Creve Coeur Police Chief Dale King.

The visiting friend tried to get Madelynn to jump with her by saying "1, 2, 3 jump" but was unsuccessful, Margaret said.

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Margaret and her boyfriend Randell Ratliff were able to escape the home by crawling underneath the smoke while the house fell around them.

When police arrived at 4:30 a.m., Ratliff informed authorities Madelynn was still inside but they were unable to enter the home because of heavy fire.

Ratliff and Margaret said had it not been for the family dog Max barking to alert them of the fire, "all three of us would've been burnt up."

A photo of 12-year-old Madelynn McCain sits surrounded by candles, flowers and stuffed animals during a candlelight vigil Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 in Creve Coeur.
A photo of 12-year-old Madelynn McCain sits surrounded by candles, flowers and stuffed animals during a candlelight vigil Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 in Creve Coeur.

How to help the family

A silent auction will be held on Jan. 29 in Creve Coeur, with all money going to the McCain family, Hardin said.

Gift certificates for restaurants and tattoo parlors will be auctioned off, with bracelets, custom built tables, bowls of chili and stickers some of the items being sold. There will also be a 50/50 raffle held.

"The donations are endless," Hardin said. "The outpour of support from the community is coming in from everywhere."

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the arrangements.

"This is such a tragedy, but a lot of people are really pulling together," Hardin said.

This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Creve Coeur house fire: Vigil held for 12-year-old girl who died

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