Owner of Flora house where 4 girls died in fire wants release of police and fire records

Keyana Davis, 11; Keyara Phillips, 9; Kerriele McDonald, 7; and Kionnie Welch, 5; were killed in a November 2016 house fire in Flora, Ind. It was later ruled to be arson.

FLORA, Ind. (WTHR) — The owners of a house in Flora where four little girls died in a fire, are pushing for the release of police and fire records.

They say it could identify someone else who is culpable for that deadly fire in 2016.

Josh Ayres and his company Birch Tree Holdings is fighting a federal lawsuit filed by the girls' mother, Gaylin Rose.

13 Investigates told you about that lawsuit last month, where Rose alleged her landlords were negligent and failed to provide working smoke detectors.

In response, Ayres and his attorneys sent a subpoena to the City of Flora demanding police and fire reports from the arson investigation.

The town's attorney argued it should not have to release "privileged" information, saying it wants to maintain the confidentiality of sources and protect witnesses.

But a federal Judge sided with the town and told Ayres to seek the documents from the Indiana State Police.

Ayres also asked the court to delay the federal lawsuit until the criminal investigation was complete.

The judge said there is no basis to assume an "arsonist" or other culpable party would be identified and no basis to hold up civil proceedings.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at: 1-800-382-4628.

Filed under: