Nineveh home demolished five months after deadly fire

(WISH Photo/Jessica Smith)

NINEVEH, Ind. (WISH) – Five months after a house fire in Nineveh took the lives of two small children and their mother, the charred remains of the home are coming down.

Last November, Sirena Slusher-Abbott died after running back inside her burning home, in an attempt to save her 6-month-old and 18-month-old children who also didn’t survive.

The demolition process finally began this weekend.

Crews have taken most of the house down, and they’re tearing down each piece by hand. They started on Saturday, and they hope to have it all finished up this week.

The community has pushed to get the remains torn down, because they say it’s been too hard to have the tragedy in the forefront of the small community’s mind.

Christopher Abbott, the children’s father, drives by the home every day on his way to work. It used to be a painful drive, but not anymore.

“With some help from the others in the church, they pointed things out to me. I turned my life fully to Christ, and now it doesn’t bother me to drive by that house,” said Abbott.

Abbott can finally rest easy.

“I’m at peace with everything has happened, because I know my family’s with Jesus Christ and one day I’ll join them,” said Abbott.

Still, the tragedy haunts the community that watched the fire unfold. Town Trustee Janet Renner has been working to get the home torn down.

“They just don’t want to relive it everyday. It was hard for them. They came out to try and see what they could do. So it’s re-living it every day that’s it’s just really hard on them,” said Renner.

Renner said people started throwing trash in the site, just adding to the mess that is left behind. The neighbors and surrounding business owners are also ready to move on, and say it will be a relief to have this put behind them.

“We’re glad to see it come down. They’ll always be in our hearts,” Renner said. “We’ll never forget what happened here but we don’t need the constant reminder.”

Renner says the demolition process took so long because the property owner had to go through so much red tape with the insurance company and fire investigators.

Right now, Renner says, there are no plans to rebuild. She says the owner will likely sell the piece of land. But Abbott would like to see a park go up in the home’s place. Abbott says he and his daughter are doing better, thanks to counseling at their church. Abbott says they only speak of the fire if his daughter wants to bring it up. They’re keeping busy working on their new home, not too far away from the church.

“Everything is getting better in my life because I’ve turned my life to Jesus Christ,” said Abbott.

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