ELKIN — Students in Elkin City Schools mourned one of their own upon returning to class Monday, following a fatal house fire that took the life of a 13-year-old special needs youth over the weekend.
William Kidd was a middle-school student in the self-contained exceptional children’s classroom, said Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent of Elkin City Schools.
Cox had been to the school Monday morning and said the school system’s counselors and exceptional children’s teacher Melva Edmiston “were helping classmates talk about their feelings.”
Principal Lisa Pendry said William will be remembered for his love of music and flyswatters, which he liked to play with.
“He would give fist bumps when you were walking through the halls,” she said. “He would bring a smile to your face.”
Another fascination for William was footwear, Pendry fondly recalled. “He loved shoes. He had difficulty keeping his on,” she said smiling.
“He was a very special child. He was nonverbal, but he could sign a few simple things like thank you. There wasn’t a lot of communication except through his eyes,” Pendry said. “He was a sweet child, and he will be missed.”
She said as a student at Elkin Elementary School, William had a tricycle he was able to ride through the hallways.
“The children in his class are sad, and they are remembering him through their memories,” Pendry said. “They are handling it as well as can be expected.”
While William was a student of the middle school, Pendry said the classroom he was in was integrated with middle and high school students and was actually located in Elkin High School’s building.
A bulletin board is being created with the words, “Remembering William G. Kidd,” and the students of both schools will be able to post their memories and thoughts. Those will be given to his mother, with whom William lived.
As far as plans for any fundraising or ways to help his mother, Pendry said it was too early to know what they are going to do.
“We have reached out to the mother; I’ve been in contact with her. No arrangements have been made at this time,” she said. “She is affiliated with a church in Boonville that I believe is helping her.
“We will as a school body and faculty be talking about what we can do to help his mother,” Pendry said.
Cause under investigation
The fire at 1695 CC Camp Road, near the Elkin Municipal Airport, was dispatched at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday. William lived in the home with his mother.
CC Camp Volunteer Fire Department was the primary station responding, with assistance from State Road, South Surry and Elkin fire departments. Also assisting at the scene were Elkin Rescue Squad and Surry EMS on medical standby and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office with traffic control.
Several fire departments also assisted by standing by for the firefighters on the scene to cover their districts.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene to assist the Surry County Fire Marshal’s Office with the investigation.
As of noon Monday, Doug Jones, Surry County fire marshal, said the cause of the fire remained under investigation, but he anticipated a completion of the investigation would be forthcoming soon. He said he planned to meet with the SBI agent investigating the incident during the day Monday.
The owners of the three-bedroom brick home are listed on the Surry County Tax Records as Maria Deneane Kidd and Willis S. Watson Jr.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.