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'A gentle, wonderful, beautiful spirit.' Community remembers teen killed in house fire

house fire nipomo.jpg
Posted at 3:11 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 18:20:28-04

Friends and family are mourning the loss of a 17-year-old Nipomo girl who was killed in a house fire on Tuesday morning.

A memorial with a cross and flowers is now set up outside the home on W. Tefft Street where Carly Krauk lost her life.

A memorial is also growing outside Kay's Country Kitchen in Orcutt where she worked for the past year and a half as a hostess and waitress.

"We all loved her. She had a gentle, wonderful, beautiful spirit and very hard worker," said owner Kay Tims. "We have a couple of old regulars that she would go by and check on them and make sure they're okay so her little spirit is honored here. I mean, she definitely touched our lives in a big way."

Carly also volunteered at New Life Church in Pismo Beach during Sunday school.

"Those kids are sometimes nervous to be dropped off but with Carly there, it was that consistent loving, caring person that when they walked in, they would just kind of run to her," said David Hutsko, New Life Church Lead Pastor.

A GoFundMe set up for her family says she adored kids and never passed up an opportunity to babysit.

It also says her idea of happiness was to spend the day with the people she loved the most and those people were her friends and family.

"Carly just represents, I think, so many young people who do care and want to give and want to serve and want to make an impact in this world," Hutsko said.

She graduated from Nipomo High School last spring and was just two months shy of going to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix to start the spring semester.

"It's rough for us because we miss her so much and our hearts are broken but on the other hand, we want to honor her and come in and be kind and be like how she is - a kind person who always had a smile and a good word so we're going to honor her by moving forward with that way but never forgetting her," Tims said.

"The number of lives that she touched on those Sunday mornings, we will see the fruit of that for years and years to come," Hutsko added.

For the GoFundMe page set up for funeral expenses, click here.

A second GoFundMe has been set up for Carly's aunt, whose home was destroyed in the fire.

According to that page, the family's three dogs were also killed in the fire and Carly's 15-year-old brother and cousin were hospitalized with minor burns and smoke inhalation.

We reached out to CAL FIRE for an update on the cause of the fire but have not yet heard back.