Memorial service with a mission in Oakhurst

OAKHURST, Calif.

Ten-year-old Alexis Montoya, her 8-year-old sister Jayden, their grandmother Dianna, and their uncle Bruce Hargett all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The girls' lives were short, but their impact could be long-lasting. Family, friends, and teachers shared memories of Alexis and Jayden Thursday at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church in Oakhurst.

"Jayden enjoyed playing with her littlest pet shop animals," said family friend Jennifer Rogers as she led the memorial service.

Jayden, Alexis, and their relatives died when the silent and deadly carbon monoxide gas came in from a jerry-rigged gas generator.

"I just want everyone to remember how much they changed everyone's lives and now they're up in heaven changing lives," said their cousin Timothy Butler, Jr.

The girls had just gotten started changing lives at Oakhurst Elementary School. Their classmates remembered them with giant posters telling the girls how much they'll be missed.

The girls' mother – Marina Montoya, the only survivor from the house -- was too overwhelmed with emotions to talk. But she took the posters home as another reminder of the support she's gotten from the Oakhurst community.

"They've given her so much love and she's only been here for a short time and she knows it's because of how fabulous those two little girls were," said the girls' uncle Timothy Butler, Sr.

Now, their family is making it a mission to use the girls' story to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and the need for detectors.

"We're not going to stop," said Butler, Sr. "If I have my say, every house in the country is going to have one."

If the mission succeeds and just one child's life is saved, family members say it's because of two little angels, looking down from above.

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