Girl, 11, killed in Amersfoort house fire; arson suspected

A Dutch Firetruck in action on the heathland near Ede P.J.L Laurens/Wikimedia Commons. ()

An 11-year-old girl died on Sunday afternoon after she sustained serious injuries in a fire in her home on Gounodstraat in Amersfoort during the early hours of that morning. The police believe arson was involved.

The fire started around 4:00 a.m. Firefighters found the girl inside the house. She was rushed to the burns center in Beverwijk, where she died of her injuries in the afternoon. The girl's older sister was also found in the home, struggling to breathe due to smoke inhalation. 

A team of detectives with various specialties is investigating the fire, according to ANP. So far no arrests were made.

According to newspaper AD, the little girl's name was Lindsey and she lived in the home on Gounodstraat with her mom and her 25-year-old sister. As far as is known, the family had no problems. Local residents describe then as quiet and friendly. Flowers, cards and tedddy bears were placed in front of the home. On Sunday afternoon a small group of school children placed candles in front of the home.

A distraught neighbor told the newspaper, in broken Dutch, how awful she finds what happened. "She was my friend", the neighbor's daughter said to the newspaper. They can't believe that Lindsey died. "We were woken by the smoke and smell. Then we went outside to the street. We were scared", the daughter said. 

According to the newspaper, the house's facade is blackened and ashes were carefully cleared away from the ground with a shovel. The front door was badly battered - the work of firemen trying to get into the house as quickly as possible.