Teen dies Thurs­day af­ter sav­ing sis­ter from fire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - STEVEN MROSS

HOT SPRINGS — A Moun­tain Pine High School stu­dent died late Thurs­day night af­ter sav­ing her 12-yearold sis­ter from a fire de­stroy­ing their home, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day.

Tif­fany Zielin­ski, 18, was pro­nounced dead at the scene by Gar­land County Coroner Stuart Smed­ley, ac­cord­ing to a Gar­land County Sheriff ’s Of­fice re­port re­leased Fri­day.

Piney Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment Lt. Scott Miser Jr. said the depart­ment re­ceived a call at 10:02 p.m. Thurs­day about a fire about 15 miles north­west of Hot Springs, and fire­fight­ers had the blaze un­der con­trol within about 30 min­utes of ar­riv­ing on the scene.

The res­i­dence was a mo­bile home with ad­di­tions built on the front and back, and fire­fight­ers be­lieve the ori­gin of the fire was in the area of the front ad­di­tion, Miser said.

“That’s what we’re lean­ing to­ward,” he said, not­ing fire­fight­ers still had “no idea” Fri­day what caused the fire, which re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The home was a loss, Miser said.

A fam­ily friend — Robert See, 49, who lives in a camper on the prop­erty — told deputies he had been at the home ear­lier in the even­ing watch­ing the 12-year-old sis­ter un­til Zielin­ski ar­rived. He said Zielin­ski came home and he left, walk­ing down the hill to his camper.

He said he woke about an hour later to the sound of Zielin­ski scream­ing and then saw her run into the burn­ing house. He said the 12-year-old, who hadn’t been iden­ti­fied Fri­day, made it out but Zielin­ski was still in the house.

Miser said Zielin­ski was ap­par­ently out­side at one point and went back into the house to save the 12-year-old and was able to get her out, but Zielin­ski suc­cumbed to the smoke be­fore she could es­cape.

“We don’t know if she got her out through a win­dow or a door, and we’re not sure why she was still in­side,” he said.

Zielin­ski’s body was found in a back bed­room, which Miser said was the far­thest point from where the fire started.

“I don’t know if she was try­ing to get some­thing out of the house,” he said. “We don’t know what her goal was.”

Miser said fire­fight­ers found a small de­ceased an­i­mal that ap­peared to be a dog chained to the out­side of the front porch.

The 12-year-old was taken by LifeNet to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs. Miser hadn’t heard an up­date Fri­day, but he said he felt she was “prob­a­bly in good shape.”

“She didn’t have any se­ri­ous in­juries or burns,” he said. “She just had some smoke in­hala­tion, but she was walk­ing and talk­ing that night.”

Miser said the girl was taken to the hos­pi­tal pri­mar­ily to be eval­u­ated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.