Neighbors mourn loss of father, son in Carmel house fire

James Shiel (family photo used with permission)
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A neighborhood continues mourning the loss of a father and son after a deadly house fire in Carmel.

It happened Thursday along Auman Drive East not far from the Mohawk Hills Golf Course. The windows at that home are now boarded up and neighbors have left candles out front along with flowers to remember 26-year-old James Shiel and 2-year-old Andrew.

"It's quite a tragedy for us," said neighbor Sandy Sanders, "but people will live on because of him."

James was an organ donor and a family member said that his donation already benefited three other people.

That desire to help was a common theme in the neighborhood. Thursday morning, a neighbor called 911 while also alerting another neighbor who then tried to knock down the door to rescue the father and son.

"He's haunted because he couldn't get in," Andi Wilson said of her husband. "But we also know that all the 'Maybes....' and the 'What if's?' aren't going to do any good....The reminder will always be there, whether the house is there or not, but it has made a lot of changes in our life in how we handle things."

The Wilson's have practiced their escape plan with their young children as they turn to their faith to heal them and the Shiel family.

"We have God and we pray a lot and our children pray and we believe that God will give us the strength to get through this," said Wilson.

The Shiel family did release a statement. It said, in part, "We find peace in knowing that James will live on in others and he and Andy will have each other in eternal life."

This fire also brings another plea from firefighters - to make sure there are working smoke detectors in your home. Investigators said they didn't find any in the Shiel's home.