HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) –When students and teachers resume classes at Holyoke High School on Tuesday, they’ll do so knowing they have some support, after the tragic loss of freshman Halee Hilton over the weekend. “We were in communication with the school principal relative to having her alert her counselors and offering district support, and school psychologists for those students and staff members who might offer support. The school has counseling services of the river valley, so we’ve alerted them too,” said Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools, David Dupont. Schools were already scheduled to be closed Monday for a Staff Professional Development Day.
Family, friends and neighbors have already taken to Facebook to remember the teen.
Halee died Saturday in an early morning blaze at her Glen St. home.
The Holyoke Fire Department says the cause of the fire was accidental, and probably started near their wood stove in the kitchen.
However, Dupont says he’s seen this all too often. After 40 years, he admits handling these types of situations never gets any easier. “It’s hard to come up with words to say about how you feel and how you feel about the family, and how you feel about the close friends and students in the school with the high school and of course the staff members too and we send out our condolences to the family and hope that they can somehow get through this thing as quickly as possible,” he stated.
Halee’s mother, Lisa remains at Baystate Medical Center in fair condition.
There will be another memorial for Halee on Glen Street this Saturday evening.