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11-year-old killed in house fire may have been trying to save dogs, Sarasota deputies say

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating the "tragic death" of an 11-year-old girl who died Wednesday in a house fire.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies were called around 5:45 p.m. to the 1100 block of Iowa Street about two homes on fire. 

Deputies say witnesses told them the girl, identified as 11-year-old Rilee Beisler, went into one of the homes. Witnesses reportedly told deputies bystanders tried to help, but Rilee never came back out of the home alive. 

Detectives say they believe she may have been trying save her dogs from the fire. 

The sheriff's office says the state fire marshal is leading the investigation into the fire and detectives, along with the medical examiner's office, are continuing to investigate the girl's death. 

Detectives say at this time the fire doesn't appear to be criminal, and Rilee's death is believed to have been caused by smoke inhalation. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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