MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Neighbors captured the fatal fire on Davis Street on their phones just after 7:00 a.m. By the afternoon, Israel Putnam Elementary school learned they lost one of their own, 8-year-old Elijah Ziolkowski.
“Star Wars was big for him. He walked in every morning with a Star Wars backpack,” said principal Enza Adamcewicz.
His lonely bike and toy trucks litter the third grader’s lawn in front of the charred home.
“He was very well-known. Everyone knew him. A very nice little boy. He will definitely be missed. We’re having a very hard time with that, but we’ll pull together,” Adamcewicz said.
The home now sits empty. It’s been deemed unsafe to go in. Something about this fire, the Fire Marshal thought was suspicious. So that’s why the police are taking over the investigation. Police are now investigating it as arson. They’re not releasing details worried about jeopardizing the investigation.
Elijah’s mother, Karin Ziolkowski, 41, is still in the hospital in critical condition. Counselors are in Elijah’s old classroom. The principal says many students heard about the fire on the news.
“There’s some sad news to come out of that fire you know one of your classmates did not make it and so that’s how you start to deal with it and certainly we let questions ask any questions that they may have and support them through those questions,” said Adamcewicz. “He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
Neighbors say a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Ziolkowskis. Now police are trying to figure out who is responsible for causing all this grief.