Funeral Services Set as Carrington Community Comes Together in Support of Tufte Family

Toys for the kids, flowers and pictures are set up to honor their memory

CARRINGTON, N.D. — The community of Carrington is coming together to support a family after three siblings die in a house fire.

Family friend Chelee Finch still can’t believe the loss of Spencer, Melody and Alex.

“I just was shocked,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that it was true.”

Friends and family across the valley are giving an outpouring of support to the Tufte family just days after a massive fire destroyed their home and took the lives of Dawn and Brandon’s three children.

Toys for the kids, flowers and pictures are set up to honor their memory.

“They really had a love for learning,” said Finch. “You could tell that they really enjoyed Sunday School. They loved the music. They loved all the arts and crafts we did. Their spirit of wanting to learn, it just…it radiated. It really did.”

More than $60,000 was raised online to help with funeral and medical costs.

“The community really has rallied,” said family friend Amber Kruse. “We’re here for them with whatever they need. They’re surrounded with lots of love.”


“It just goes to show how tight knit a small community can be,” said firefighter Clinton Sherman. “Everybody just looks out for each other.”

As the sun began to set, more than a hundred people showed up to light candles and remember Spencer, Melody and Alex.

“Everybody has been fantastic with donations,” said Karen Eback, aunt to the three children and sister of Dawn Tufte. “Not just money, but donating things for trying to get back on their feet and just being there for everybody and everybody’s family.”


“We are all very very thankful,” said Sabrina Tufte-Symonds, another aunt and sister of Brandon Tufte. “Thank you is not enough for everybody supporting.”

Carrington is a small town with more than 2,000 people, but tens of thousands of dollars are still being donated to support the family.

Funeral Services Set for Children

Services have been set for the Tufte children.

A prayer service will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.

The funeral service for Spencer, Melody and Alex will be held Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Carrington High School Gymnasium.

Memorials are encouraged to the Tufte Family Benefit in care of any Gate City Bank in North Dakota.

A GoFundMe account to raise money for the funeral and other needs by the family and their friend, Garrett Phillips who was living with them at the time of the fire, has raised more than $68,000 in under a week.

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