Authorities recovered six bodies Wednesday from the rubble of a burned-out northern Indiana home where four children and two adults were believed to have died, police said.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum told The Associated Press that crews assisted by cadaver dogs late Wednesday afternoon found two bodies in addition to those of an adult male, an adult female and two children recovered earlier. Slocum said he did not know the ages or the genders of the two latest bodies found.
Crews were continuing to search the rubble for any additional bodies or evidence of how the fire started, Slocum said.
Neighbors reported the fire about 2 a.m. Wednesday at the rural home about 70 miles (115 kilometers) north of Indianapolis. Two Cass County sheriff’s deputies arrived there minutes later and attempted to enter the home but were turned away by flames and heat, Sheriff Randy Pryor said.
Two adults escaped the fire and were taken to a local hospital. Pryor said the two survivors have spoken to investigators.
The six people inside the house were believed to be related and included four children ranging in age from infancy to 10 years old, Pryor said.
The house was largely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, preventing any rescue attempts, New Waverly Fire Department Lt. Steve Crispen said.
The building’s roof collapsed after fire gutted most of the interior of the two-story, wood-frame house, Crispen said.
Firefighting efforts were hindered by a lack of fire hydrants near the house. Fire crews ran out of water and had to wait for about five minutes for more tankers to arrive, Crispen said.
“It’s pretty numbing when the initial dispatch is telling us people are entrapped in the structure and they’re saying multiple people,” Crispen said. “It’s one of the toughest days I’ve probably had in my life.”
Three state fire investigators were at the scene to determine the cause of the blaze, State Fire Marshal James Greeson said, adding that the task ahead would not be easy.
“We have an excavation unit in there that is going to systematically pull this apart, so we can get in and actually do our investigation,” Greeson said.
Slocum said he didn’t want to speculate about the cause of the fire.
“We’re going to consider it a criminal investigation until we find out otherwise — it is all encompassing,” Slocum said.
- RAINY WEEK AHEAD FOR THE BAY AREA
- 1-YEAR-OLD DIES AFTER BEING STRUCK BY CAR IN RICHMOND
- LONGTIME SAN FRANCISCO RADIO HOST RAY TALIAFERRO MISSING
- MODESTO MAN BURYING PET IN BACKYARD FIND HUMAN REMAINS
- MAN JAILED AFTER RAPE OVERHEARD ON PLAYSTATION4