INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two children injured in a fire at their east side home Saturday morning, died Sunday. The fire killed four other members of their family.
A 14-year-old and a 6-year-old died at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Sunday after a fire that fire broke out around 9 a.m. Saturday in the 2100 block of Olney Street. They have been identified as 14-year-old Miranda Guerra and 6-year-old Fuentes Guerra.
Their parents, Lionel Guerra, 47, and Brandy Mae Guerra, 33, and two siblings, Esteban Guerra, 11, and Blanquita Guerra, 8, died at local hospitals shortly after the fire. Six people total died in the fire. IFD officials say that makes the Olney St. fire the deadliest fire for one family in IFD history.
Investigators are still trying to narrow down what started the blaze and the origin. There were no smoke detectors found inside the home.
IFD says there was some initial confusion on getting to the scene. The first reports were from drivers on Interstate 70, so they didn’t have a street or address.
Once they arrived on the scene, crews were able to knock down the fire within 10 minutes.
It was also a race against time to get the victims out and the medical attention they needed.
One neighbor at the scene says he’ll never forget what he saw unfold.
“There was a lot of kids living here, little kids cause when we were out here earlier they brought out a baby in front of us and I thought he was alive and he wasn’t covered or anything,” said Renzie Miller. “I have never. To have that happen right in front of you and know that they are gone – it’s just so overwhelming.”
“We’d just like to thank the community for all the prayers and support,” said Gilbert Guerra, Lionel’s brother. “We’re continuing to trust in God and we’re believing God, we’re riding it out all the way to the end. We know he is in control.”
“My brother (was) very kind-hearted,” said Guerra. “His kids were great – soft spoken, kind, that’s the way I’ll remember them. I don’t want to remember them from tragedy. I want to remember them before that. That’s the memory that I want.”
IFD says the deaths put the number of fire fatalities at ten for the year.
This tragedy really has shocked the community, especially since the city hasn’t seen something like this in several years.
IFD says in May 2008, three children and their mother died in a house fire in the 3600 block of Hillside Avenue. In November 1996, four young boys died in a house fire at 23rd and New Jersey streets.