Victims in deadly Johnson County fire identified
The Johnson County deputy coroner identified the victims of Friday nights fatal fire as John Abbott six-months-old and Haley Abbott 18-months-old. The mother of the children 28-year-old, Sirena Slusher-Abbott remains in critical condition at Wishard Hospital Saturday night.
The Johnson County sheriff says two bodies have been found in the rubble of a house fire in Nineveh but wouldn't confirm if the bodies are those of two missing children who were lost in the blaze.
One body was recovered by fire fighters. The other body was recovered by a cadaver dog.
The fire started around 5:00 p.m. Friday in a house in the 1100 block of East CR 775 South in southern Johnson County. Chopper 13 HD flew over the scene, where large flames engulfed the two-story home.
A six-month-old and 18-month-old were reported missing inside the home. Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox says their mother is fighting for her life after suffering serious burns and smoke inhalation.
The mother of the children was airlifted to Wishard Hospital. The fire chief says the woman got a five-year-old girl out of the home safely, then returned for the two small children, but was overcome by smoke.
"I broke down and started crying," said neighbor Linda Dilts.
Neighbors like Dilts, were sick with the realization that children were trapped inside as everyone, even the fire crews, were helpless to save them.
"It didn't take that house but five or seven minutes to go completely up in flames," said Dilts.
Neighbors watched in horror as the building became a charred shell.
Fire crews said the mother tried to save her babies after her getting her five-year-old daughter to safety, but she couldn't get to her little ones.
"I seen them bring her out on a gurney and they were performing CPR, you know when she was being brought out," said Dilts of the mother.
The girl who escaped the fire ran to a neighbor's for help. Another neighbor, Anastasia Bingham, says "I know at least one brave guy tried to go in there through a back window. He tried to jump from a balcony. All anyone was thinking was getting those babies out. It was too late."
A police officer, one of the first on scene, tried next to get inside the burning home.
"He went in and tried to get through the door, wasn't able to," said Bargersville Fire Chief Jason Ramey.
Fire crews, armed with their equipment, tried, too.
"We still had firefighters working very hard to get in and knock it out and make a search," Ramey said.
The flames were just too much.
"We actually had to call them out," said Ramey.
Now the recovery effort begins and the search for answers into what caused this tragic fire as an already tight-knit community unites in grief.
"When we have a tragedy like this, everybody pulls together," said Dilts.
That's all this community can do. They have no choice.
Police have not said how the fire might have started.
The state fire marshal is now in charge of the scene and investigation.