BRAZIL, Ind. (WISH) — A small community is working together to help a family, who lost everything in a deadly house fire in Brazil. The fire killed an 18-year-old woman, a four-year-old boy, and a four-month-old girl.
Someone left teddy bears and flowers outside of the house Tuesday to remember the victims. Fire officials said a family of 11 lived at the home on Mechanic Street.
Several groups and organizations in town are now accepting clothing, food, and monetary donations to help the family.
Firefighters called in a tree trimmer Tuesday night to remove a tree still burning from the fire. Investigators don’t know what caused the fire in the two story house just yet.
The Brazil Fire Chief said they will return Wednesday morning to hopefully tear down a wall to look further into the home to determine the cause.
“There’s been a lot of prayer,” said Rick Koch, who is the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Brazil.
Koch said he did not know the family, but knows the tragedy has affected a lot of people.
“Not only is it tough on the family and people who knew the family and their friends, but also the fireman, the police officers, and the first responders who dealt with the fire,” Koch said.
Firefighters arrived on scene and found several people had already made it out safely. They went back inside and rescued three people, who were taken to the hospital, where they later died.
The Clay County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as 18-year-old Raven Tedder, her four-year-old brother Shyloi Stewart, and her four-month-old baby girl Zoiey.
“We don’t usually move on when something, especially children experience such a devastating way to lose their life in such a short period of time,” Koch said.
Pastor Koch said his church and other organizations are doing everything they can to help the family during this difficult time.
Members from his congregation dropped off some winter clothing for the family.
“We have a mission team and they were on top of it. They came in this afternoon and went through and made sure they have the right sizes and the hats and gloves and things to go with it,” he said.
Moore Funeral Home on North Washington Street is also accepting clothing donations for the family. The funeral director said the response has been overwhelming with people dropping off bags of clothing.
Clothing sizes: boys 5T, 7-8, 12; teen girls small and medium, 3-5, 7-9; woman’s small; men’s XL shirts and 36×30 pants are requested.
Shoe sizes: 5-10 in children shoes for boys and 4-6 for girls are needed.
An account has also been set up at Riddell National Bank in Brazil. You can drop off or mail your donation to 1 E. National in the name of the Stewart family.