Brien had a "tireless love of adventure and pleasure," his Boy Scouts troop shared of him.
After a fire broke out on Valentine's Day at his family's house in Connecticut, an 11-year-old boy passed away tragically, leaving a "hole" in his family and friends' hearts. Brien Karlson, a sixth-grader at John Read Middle School, Redding, was gravely hurt after his home on Diamond Hill Road caught fire on Tuesday night NBC affiliate WVIT reported.
According to a statement from fire officials, the fire was reported around 11:36 p.m. Superintendent Dr. Jason McKinnon wrote a letter to the community, obtained by PEOPLE, saying that the student was taken to a nearby hospital but later died from his wounds. "It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news that Brien died this afternoon after a courageous fight," wrote McKinnon, who heads the Easton, Redding and Region 9 School Districts.
Brien had a "tireless love of adventure and pleasure," according to a post by his Boy Scouts troop on Facebook. "He loved being a scout and his energy and determination endeared him to all of us in the short year he was with the troop," the statement read. "His strength, kindness and spirit will be greatly missed," the statement added.
In another Facebook post uploaded by his Scoutmaster Scott Moris on Friday, he shared that "a huge hole has been placed in my heart." The grieving scout leader wrote with utmost sadness, "a feeling of helplessness and deep sadness has been with me for the past few days."
As the fire tore through the family's home "while they slept," Brien's parents and his 9-year-old sister Kelly were also taken to nearby hospitals, but it is presently unknown how seriously injured they are. "With his quick wit, easy laugh and tireless sense of adventure," he "brought immeasurable joy and laughter" to his friends and family, Brien's family said in a statement, per CT insider. They described their kid, who would have turned 12 next month, as a "young, but avid, outdoorsman."
Friends Jessica Jacob and Elissa Williams started a GoFundMe page for the Karlson family with the goal to "streamline efforts to help them to begin to rebuild the essentials" and as of Monday, it has raised $246,973. "Brien was a curious and gentle soul whose love for people and animals was apparent to anyone who spent any amount of time with or around him. Tara and Scott are now experiencing every parent’s worst nightmare and Kelly lost a best friend," the GoFundMe page read.
The fundraiser added that they made this campaign because they hope that when someone is experiencing their "darkest moments," "people" would lift them up and "help us see the light."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe