Sheriff: Logansport fire that killed 6 people, including 4 children, investigated as possible criminal case
LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WXIN)– A Logansport fire that killed six people, including four children, is being investigated as a possible criminal case, according to the Cass County sheriff.
The call for the fire came out around 1:50 a.m. in the 4300 block of Pottawatomie Road on the east side of the city.
Cass County Fire Lt. Steve Crispen says the sheriff’s department arrived on the scene first. They rescued two adults, a mother and an adult son, who are now at the hospital.
But there were still six people inside the two-story home. They climbed on the roof and broke windows to get inside, but the flames were just too big. The home was 80 percent involved with heavy fire at the time. Video from Mitchell Kirk with the Pharos-Tribuneshows the flames.
“It’s pretty numbing when initial dispatch is telling us people are entrapped in the structure and they’re saying multiple people,” Lt. Crispen said.
Fire crews went on attack and tried to get inside and rescue the others, but they were unsuccessful. Two adults and four children died in the fire. The ages of the children range between 2 months old and 10 years old.
The sheriff tells us ammo inside the house started going off at one point.
The house is in a rural, non-hydrated area, so they had to truck in water to battle the flames. Crews were out of water within five minutes, and they had to stop fighting the fire until more water could be transported to them. Also, the freezing temperatures made it difficult.
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Fire crews say it’s still an active fire, and they haven’t been able to recover the victims’ remains yet.
“We’re probably going to have to wait until daytime and stuff to get heavy equip in here and make sure the structure is safe enough for us to go in there and do recovery of the individuals that are in here,” Lt. Crispen said.
Lt. Crispen has been working with the fire department for 35 years, and he says it’s been one of the toughest days of his life.
“It’s very difficult what this community has gone through the last couple of months… the Logansport fire department losing two young children in a structure fire on the south side… two weeks later they lost an elderly person on the southeast end. Now we have this going on here where we’ve apparently lost six people in this fire here,” Lt. Crispen said.
The coroner is on the scene, and the state fire marshal is on his way to help determine the cause and origin of the fire.
Currently, it’s being investigated as a possible criminal case, and they’re not sure if it’s accidental yet. The fire marshal will make that determination.
The sheriff’s department said they did not hear any smoke detectors when they arrived at the scene.