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You could have a tiny undead based roughly off of the smoke haunt (i.e. with similiar fire based abilities) and give it the fiendish template. Give it a few constant spell-like abilities (Confusion maybe?) and make it minorly intelligent. Then, make it so that it isn't meaning harm to its victims and doesn't understand its own destructive capabilities. Perhaps its only seeking warmth and companionship but in trying to get close to people it kills them witha fire aura or something similiar. That would make it even more tragic and memorable, perhaps even bringing a something of a moral quandry (Do we kill an obviously deadly yet pathetic, pitiable and helpless creature for seeking warmth and companionship?).
On an somewhat related note, if you're just looking for a sidequest and want something similiar to this, try using Tanethia Wheen's ghost. In the Sandpoint detail in Burnt Offerings its mentioned that Tanethia Wheen drowned several years ago. It also mentions that all of the mills except for the Scarnetti's burned down. With a minor altering of the timeline (I think that the two events occurred a few years apart.) it could be made so that she witnessed some Scarzni thugs burning a mill under the Scarnetti's orders and they drowned her to silence her. I used this and had her rise as a ghost, causing problems in a burnt out mill just trying to get attention and help from the people that didn't know she was there. She really meant no harm and was just trying to get help. The PCs managed to talk to her and she was put to rest after her parents came and said goodbye and her murderers were brought to justice. I started a whole campaign with this and made them do a lot of traveling, but it could easily be truncated to be a side quest.
My two coppers, hope they helped.