Rhianne King: 'Selfless' girl, 15, dies trying to save her dogs in horrific house fire in Ohio
FLORENCE, OHIO: A teenager from Berlin Heights, Ohio, died in a house fire on Sunday, January 22. According to the family, Rhianne King, 15, died while attempting to save her dogs. She reportedly loved dogs more than anything, which is possibly why she went toward the flames to try to save her puppies rather than fleeing out of her bedroom window.
"She was trying to get the dog and the smoke got to her because, by the time my sister left her room, the smoke had already engulfed the entire living room," explained Kaelyn Wells, Rhianne’s older sister, as per CBS19. "It just shows that she was selfless and would rather risk her life to save those puppies than try to save herself."
Wells, 20, reported that the fire broke out at home early morning where her mother, younger sister, and brother lived. "My mother tried to go back in and save my sister, but she got hurt in the process and had to leave," Wells said. It happened in the 11000 block of State Route 113 around 7 in the morning. According to a news release, responders encountered "heavy fire and smoke conditions" and were informed that at least one person was trapped inside the residence. "The adrenaline was running," Deputy Josh Miller said of the moments spent searching for the person, who was later identified as Rhianne. "I was trying to get her because from the time the call came in to when I got there was nine minutes, and in nine minutes the house was engulfed in flames."
Rhianne's brother, James, 17, said it was a terrifying morning. "I turned around to see if I could escape from my door," he said. "I opened it - too much smoke and immediately closed it then my door handle came off. Then I heard my mom tell me to push out my ac to get out through my window, so I was able to get through. After that, we were gathering up all the dogs that we found trying to see if Rhianne was anywhere." My family's been in shambles since," James added. "My mom's the most worrisome right now, she’s barely keeping it together, so I've just been trying to help everyone calm down."
While Rhianne died in the fire, she managed to save one puppy. Six other dogs were rescued. Two of her dogs, however, were discovered dead inside the house. A single firefighter had minor injuries and received treatment on the spot. A GoFundMe has been set up to help Rhianne's family pay for funeral expenses.