A deadly house fire in Meriden was intentionally set, according to police.
Officials said 8-year-old Elijah Ziolkowski, a student at Israel Putnam Elementary School, died in a house fire on Davis Street Monday morning.
His mother, 40-year-old Karin Ziolkowski remains in critical condition at a hospital.
Support staff will be on hand for students and staff at Elijah's school on Tuesday.
"The Meriden Public Schools faced a terrible tragedy [Monday] morning as a house fire took the life of a 9-year-old student who was in the third grade at Israel Putnam School," said Superintendent Mark Benigni. "Our hearts go out to the family. Additional support staff will be on hand [Tuesday] to offer assistance to our students and staff."
Israel Putnam Elementary School Principal Enza Adamcewicz said the boy, who was known as "Eli" to his classmates, has been with the school district since kindergarten.
"Loved Legos, loved star wars, you're typically 8-year-old boy, but very well known and very well liked," Adamcewicz said, adding that his death was talked about in class on Tuesday. "Sharing good memories of him in their class, and the time he made them laugh and they've made cards and helps them through the grieving process."
Officials called the fire arson on Tuesday because of the circumstances surrounding it.
When firefighters arrived around 7:15 a.m. on Monday, they said the had to break shatter windows to fight the fire. Neighbors reported seeing flames shooting out of the windows on the second floor.
Neighbors also reported seeing them bring out the boy's body on a stretcher.
Court documents show Karin and her husband Marc were going through a divorce earlier this year, but the case was dismissed in mid-October.
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the family with funeral costs, and can be found here.
Police said they would release more information as it becomes available.
Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact the Meriden Police Department at 203-630-6233.
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