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Balloon release held to honor 8-year-old girl killed in house fire

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BAKER - A memorial was held at Advantage Charter School in honor of a mother and daughter who were killed in a house fire.

Just days before Iyonna Holden and her mother Dominique were killed in an accidental house fire, Iyonna was voted class president. Instead of celebrating her victory, classmates are mourning her death.

"We wanted our family to know she was very dear to us, she was an amazing little girl,” said Iyonna’s teacher Christina Paris.

Iyonna and her mother died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Now, the school is consoling those who loved them the most.

"I just thank Advantage Charter School today for letting me release my baby... into the heavens,” said her grandmother Shelida Coates.

In yellow shirts, everyone represented the little "sunshine" that Iyonna was.

"You could have the worst day ever and encounter Iyonna and your day will literally brighten up, always smiling always laughing,” said Paris.

Her father Travis Holden came home from working the night shift to find his wife and daughter killed. He described his daughter as smart, amazing, and full of life.

All week long, students were able to support her family by wearing some of her favorite things. But headbands and pretty shirts can't replace their best friend Iyonna.

“Iyonna was a good person, I knew her for 5 years and we never split up. I just miss her so much and every morning I’ll look up to the sky and talk to her like she’s just in front of me flying in an airplane,” said Iyonna’s best friend Ziyan Ennis.

Advantage Charter School is providing counseling for students and working with the fire department to make sure all homes in Baker are equipped with smoke detectors.

A joint funeral service will be Tuesday morning at the Interdenominational Faith Assembly located at 5045 Greenwell Street viewing is at 8 a.m. and the services begin at 10 a.m.


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