Nova Scotia

'She had the biggest heart': 1 of 2 killed in Glace Bay house fire identified as 16-year-old girl

One of two people killed in a house fire in Glace Bay, N.S., on Friday has been identified as 16-year-old Madison Kelly.

Madison Kelly had a 'heart of gold' and 'always made people feel loved'

Madison Kelly, pictured, died in a house fire on Friday. She was 16. (Scott McIntyre)

One of two people killed in a house fire in Glace Bay, N.S., on Friday has been identified as 16-year-old Madison Kelly.

"She was fun loving. She had a big heart. She had the biggest heart," Vanessa Spencer, a close friend of the family, told CBC News on Saturday.

"No matter how much she was hurting, she always made people feel loved. She was a lovable kid. She was affectionate and she loved to give hugs."

Madison died in a fire in a second-storey apartment on Brookside Street just after 2 a.m. AT. She had been living there with a friend, Brea McKenzie.

Vanessa Spencer, left, and Madison, right, are seen at Spencer's wedding last month. Madison was Spencer's junior bridesmaid. (Scott McIntyre)

Brea McKenzie, 15, also died in the fire and her mother, Laureen, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

Spencer confirmed Madison's identity late Saturday. She lived with Spencer for two years after her mother, Angela, died of cervical cancer four years ago.

"I was in her life ever since she was a small baby. Her mother was actually my best friend," Spencer said.

Madison was affectionately known as "Moo Moo." It was a nickname given to her by her mother before she died.

Madison is seen with her mom, Angela, before she died of cervical cancer four years ago. (Submitted by Cynthia Kelly)

"One good thing I can say about this, is I know she's up with her mom," Cynthia Kelly, Madison's aunt, said in a Facebook message.

Kelly said Madison had a "heart of gold" and was loved by everyone she met.

She said Madison was planning to go to Halifax with her grandfather for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend.

"I called him [on Friday]. He thought it was Madison calling to say she was ready to go but it was me telling him [she's] gone," she said.

Madison is seen with her aunt, Cynthia Kelly. Kelly said Madison had a 'heart of gold' and was loved by everyone she met. (Submitted by Cynthia Kelly)

'She was mine'

Spencer said Madison was like one of her own children. She would even call her "mom."

"It's been really hard because Maddie and I were really close. Every occasion, she was here with me — whether it be a birthday or a graduation — she was always here. We went to the beach. She was in my wedding … she was my junior bridesmaid," Spencer said.

"So it's been really hard. She was like my own. She may not have been blood to me, but she was mine."

Spencer said Madison was especially close with her five-year-old son, Roman.

Madison Kelly is seen with Roman, Vanessa Spencer's son. Madison had become a big sister to Roman. (Submitted by Vanessa Spencer)

"She loved my little boy who was like a little brother to her ...  he loved her. He adored her and she adored him," she said.

Spencer said she misses Madison terribly, especially after losing Angela.

"It's just terrible because I know she would have become a beautiful woman and that's the part that hurts most," she said. "Her life was just robbed from her."

A candlelight vigil for Madison will be held outside the house on Brookside Street in Glace Bay on Sunday at 7 p.m. AT. 

Spencer, left, has known Madison, right, since she was a baby. Spencer was her mom's best friend. (Submitted by Vanessa Spencer)

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.


  • A previous version of this story said a funeral service for Madison Kelly was being held Tuesday Oct. 12. Funeral arrangements are still underway and the service will not be held Tuesday.
    Oct 12, 2021 12:32 PM AT

With files from Melissa Friedman