Family remembers 4 kids, grandparents believed dead in fire
AMANDA LEE MYERS
Jan. 23, 2015
The big sister wanted to be known as a gamer, and she loved making videos with her pet guinea pig, Oreo. Her 6-year-old brother wanted to build robots.
Their cousins, blue-eyed, towheaded sisters, were a year apart but looked more like twins. The older girl knew she'd be famous one day. Her little sister loved Taylor Swift.
Their parents think the children, ages 6 to 8, along with their grandparents, Don and Sandy Pyle, were in a mansion near Annapolis when a massive fire turned the home into a pile of ashes Monday. Crews have found five bodies in the rubble and will continue searching for the last missing person on Saturday morning.
Though the official identities of the bodies were pending autopsies, the family is mourning.
One couple lost their only children. The other couple still have a baby boy, born three weeks ago; he wasn't in the home at the time of the fire, which destroyed the 16,000-square-foot waterfront mansion known in the family and the neighborhood as "the castle."
The fire's cause is under investigation.
Toni Aluisi, a family friend who lives in Washington, D.C., said that the night before the fire, Don and Sandy Pyle took the four grandchildren to dinner at Medieval Times after getting them costumes at Target.
"This family is incredibly close, the grandparents — everybody — was active in the schools with the children, with social life, sports, everything," Aluisi said.
The family has been releasing details about its loved ones in statements through Aluisi. The following is a summary of their lives, based on the statements:
Charlotte Boone: The 8-year-old, brown-eyed girl was a gamer with "an epic love" of Minecraft. She made videos with her guinea pig and dreamed of running an animal rescue group. Charlotte also loved horses, basketball, swimming, and her friends. She's described as intelligent, kind and fun-loving.
Wes Boone: At 6 years old, Charlotte's younger brother "looked up to his older sister immensely." He looked forward to seeing his friends at school every day, loved trips to the beach with his family and wanted to build robots as a grown-up. Wes played Minecraft, too. He also watched "Doctor Who" and played with Legos.
Lexi Boone: Cousin to Charlotte and Wes, the 8-year-old adored her sister and new baby brother. Lexi played field hockey and lacrosse, and enjoyed ice-skating and playing with her dog, Sophie. Lexi wanted to be a veterinarian or on television when she grew up. Either way, "she was going to be famous."
Katie Boone: Seven-year-old Katie "loved her family more than anything, especially her new brother." She liked to sing Taylor Swift songs. She recently celebrated her birthday with the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders and a trip to New York City. She played soccer, did gymnastics, and loved ice-skating like her big sister. And, "for only having just turned 7, she was loving and thoughtful beyond her years."
Known to their grandchildren as Pop-pop and Dee-dee, Don and Sandy Pyle doted on the kids. The couple loved their Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, and traveling the world together.
"Sandy was incredibly sensitive to the needs of others and generous beyond words," her family said.
Don was the chief operating officer of ScienceLogic, based in Reston, Virginia.
Though he had worked there only since September, company CEO David Link said in a statement Friday that Don was "a dear colleague, stellar friend, mentor to many, and most of all simply an excellent man."
Professionally, Don was a brilliant but humble leader, Link said, and personally he was known for his spirit and love of family.
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