Witnesses: Girl killed in fire possibly trying to save dogs

SARASOTA, Fla. — 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.

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