Flora fatal fire ruled undetermined

A Flora police officer and a Carroll County Sheriff's deputy are both in stable condition following a fire at a home at 103 E. Columbia St. in Flora, Ind., which killed four children and hospitalized their mother. (WLFI Photo)
A Flora police officer and a Carroll County Sheriff's deputy are both in stable condition following a fire at a home at 103 E. Columbia St. in Flora, Ind., which killed four children and hospitalized their mother. (WLFI Photo)

FLORA, Ind. (WLFI) — An early morning fire in Flora that killed four children has been ruled as undetermined.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office led the investigation. Officials said due to the amount of damage to the building, the cause of the fire has been ruled undetermined.

Investigators said the fire originated in the kitchen area, possibly behind the refrigerator.

Officials said they could not find batteries in a smoke alarm on the second floor, which was in the upstairs hallway and exposed to extreme heat. The alarm was scorched and melted.

The smoke alarm in the second apartment was found to be working when crews arrived.

Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said he applauds the efforts of first responders from Carroll County.

“Officers and firefighters from Carroll County departments distinguished themselves with their sacrifice and commitment to protecting the public,” he said.

The mother was injured and was airlifted from the scene. A Carroll County Sheriff’s deputy and a Flora Police officer were also injured and hospitalized.

No foul play was suspected and no accelerants were found on Monday.

The home was divided into two apartments. One apartment was occupied by the mother and her four children. The other unit was occupied by a woman and two children.

The family in the other unit was unaffected. The woman escaped unharmed and her two children were not home at the time.