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Yoncalla community mourns loss of 14-year-old girl after fire

Community members told KEZI 9 News that they remember Grace as a “shining star.”

Posted: Jun 3, 2020 6:49 PM

YONCALLA, Ore. -- The Yoncalla community is mourning the loss of Grace Weinhold, 14, after her house caught on fire this week.

The fire broke out at the family’s home on Hayhurst Road on Monday. Officials said they found Weinhold unresponsive inside the burning structure. She was taken to RiverBend Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

RELATED: YONCALLA HOUSE FIRE CLAIMS LIFE OF 14-YEAR-OLD

Community members told KEZI 9 News that they remember Grace as a “shining star.”

Despite some lifelong medical issues, they said she still played sports, participated in cheerleading, went to youth group and always gave back to the community.

“I’ve never met a child who smiled as much as she did,” said Jennifer Bragg, the development officer for North Douglas Betterment. “And she brought a smile to everyone’s face.”

North Douglas Betterment is a nonprofit that supports people and communities in northern Douglas County.

Bragg said they’re directly helping the family during this difficult time. She said they’ve donated food, supplies, lodging and any funds raised through GoFundMe.

“They’re absolutely incredible people,” said Bragg. “I have all the faith in the world that they will rebuild and be even better than before.”

The owners of Jerry McDaniel Auto Repair on Eagle Valley Road are also stepping in to help. They said a few community members asked them to be a designated place to drop donations off for the family.

Owner Stephanie McDaniel said they’ve received a number of cash donations in just a few days.

“The outpouring of care and donations for this family has been awesome to see,” said McDaniel.

However, Bragg and McDaniel said they just want the family to know how much the community supports them, despite this tragedy.

“This community will never forget Gracie’s name or everything she’s brought to our community,” said Bragg.

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