An 8-year-old boy is dead and his mother is in critical condition after fire engulfed a home in Meriden Monday and police said the fire was intentionally set.
Eight-year-old Elijah Ziolkowski was killed in the fire and his 40-year-old mother, Karin Ziolkowski, was badly injured, according to police.
Firefighters found them while responding to the fire at 7:17 a.m. Monday. Elijah and his mother, who were both suffering from smoke inhalation, were ransported them to the hospital.
Investigators said they are focusing on a bedroom where there was extensive fire damage, and there is an active arson investigation, but they have not said what led the fire marshal to determine the fire was set.
Elijah Ziolkowski was a third-grade student at the Israel Putnam School.
Enza Adamcewicz, principal of the school, said Elijah was at the school since kindergarten and the news that he die in the fire was devastating.
School staff members are remembering Elijah as a little boy with a big personality
"Bubbly kid. You know, loves Star Wars, Legos. ... You know, a normal 8-year-old boy," Adamcewicz said. "He was very social. ... Everybody knew him, knew of him. Big personality and he will be greatly missed.”
Support staff were at the school Tuesday to help students and staff.
"The Meriden Public Schools faced a terrible tragedy this morning as a house fire took the life of a 9 year old student who was in the third grade at Israel Putnam School," Supt. Mark D. Benigni, said. "Our hearts go out to the family. Additional support staff will be on hand tomorrow to off assistance to our students and staff."
Anyone with information about the fire should call Detective Angelo Stavrides at (203) 630-6233.
Editor's note: Officials initially stated the boy was 9 years old, but Tuesday when police released his identity he was identified as being only 8 years old. This article has been updated to reflect that information.