SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — An 11-year-old Florida girl died when she ran back into her burning home, possibly to save her two puppies, witnesses told authorities.
Rilee Beisler and her 7-month-old pit bulls died in the Thursday afternoon fire that destroyed two homes at a mobile park, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said. Witnesses said they saw her go back inside her home. While they tried to help, Rilee never came back out.
A sixth grader, she had moved into the home six months ago with her mother.
“She had a heart of gold,” her aunt, Laura Alden, told WFLA-TV. “She loves those dogs. … Those were her babies.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Deputies believe Rilee died of smoke inhalation.