For the third time in less than a month, a Columbia County school has needed extra counselors to deal with the death of a student.
Columbia County Deputy Coroner Vernon Collins completes his work at the scene of a house fire in Martinez.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst
Friday morning, Don Brigdon, principal of Evans High School, announced to his students that junior Holly Spivey, 16, and her parents, Harry and Linda, died in a fire at their 133 West Lynne Dr. home in Martinez.
"It is picking up, but you can image there are some upset kids and teachers alike," Brigdon said.
A team of five counselors from the county's school system's Psychological Services arrived at the school Friday morning as news of the deaths spread. They are available for anyone who needs to talk and will remain at the school as long as they are needed, Brigdon said
Some were sent to the school's bandroom as Holly was a band member and many of the upset students would be fellow band members.
A neighbors reported the blaze at 12:37 a.m. and when Martinez Fire Department engines arrived, the entire upper floor of the split level residence was engulfed in flames and smoke, said Honey Shore, fire department spokesman.
The Spivey tragedy follows two other student deaths. Andrew Hawkinberry, 8, a third-grader at North Harlem Elementary School, was killed in a car crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County on Sept. 13 while traveling with his family to his older brother's football game.
Morgan Danielle Beverly, 5, kindergartener at Evans Elementary School, was killed when she was accidentally run over with her father's truck at their Evans home only 12 days later on Sept. 25.
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