Electrical problem caused deadly Attica house fire


Fire investigators say a house fire that killed a western Indiana man and his two young daughters was sparked by an electrical problem.

Attica Fire Chief Ed O'Farrell said Thursday the fire began in the home's kitchen/dining area and was electrical in nature and accidental.

It happened at around midnight Feb. 26 in the 300 block of West Washington Street.

The children's mother, Kelli Ward, was returning home when she saw the fire. She broke a window and tried to get in, but the smoke was too heavy.

Crews arrived at the Fountain County home to find heavy fire showing. Ward shouted to firefighters that her children were trapped. Firefighters tried to make entry twice but were driven back by the fire.

Lance Ward was found holding his 18-month-old daughter, Sage, in his arms, with the family's two dogs surrounding them. Three-year-old Ryleigh Ward's body was found in her room. The three family members, along with the two dogs, died in the fire.

Online fund drive established

An online fund drive at GiveForward.com had raised $385 for the children's mother, Kelli Ward, by Wednesday. A memorial fund was established at Fowler State Bank.

Chelsea Faulkner, an Attica native living in Lafayette, organized the GiveForward.com drive. She says people who leave Attica stay connected to the community and try to help however they can.

Williamsport Christian Church is organizing an auction and a chili benefit March 16.