Community mourns 4 girls killed in house fire


FLORA, Ind. (WTHR) - Monday night, JoJo Plunkett visited the memorial to four young sisters killed in a house fire long before sunrise.

"They would be out here riding their bikes and we are all going to miss them. Terribly, terribly going to miss them," Plunkett said.

The girls' mother was hurt in the fire, along with two police officers who tried to save the sisters' lives.

Local and state fire marshalls spent the day at the wood frame, three-story house at Columbia & Division streets where friends say the family lived for a short time.

It's not not clear how the fire started, but investigators are looking carefully at the first floor electrical system.

"I mean losing one child is hard enough. Losing four, I can't imagine," Nikki Lareau said. She's one of several mothers who took her own children to the scene Monday night. Their children wanted to go to share their grief.

The children who died range from preschool to 6th grade. Area schools had counselors available.

"Kira was very fun and very exciting, and Kerielle I didn't play with as much. Just a little," said one girl who visited the fire site Monday night.

"We are a tight-knit community," Lareau added. "You see this happen on TV. You don't ever think it's going to hit home."

At a Flora church Monday night, counselors were available to first responders needing to talk. Dozens attended the private meeting.

Young Hayden Flora stopped at the steps of the girls' house. He knew them from school.

"We left a few items here on the steps for the girls," he said.

"I left a teddy bear here....It's hard to deal with it," he added.

"Her whole world revolved around those girls," Hayden's mother, Amber Flora, said of the girls' mother. The two know each other very well. "She was a single mom, working very hard and, like I said, her babies were her angels. I can't imagine what she's going through."