Grandfather of Flora fire victims voices frustration after chief resigns

FLORA, Ind. (WISH) — The grandfather of four girls killed in a fire in Flora voiced his frustration Wednesday after fire chief Adam Randle resigned with the case unsolved.

Indiana State Police, the investigation’s leading agency, said Randle’s resignation won’t affect their work.

Randle is now the third person connected to the case to announce their resignation. Fire investigator Dennis Randle resigned in June and Carroll County Prosecutor Rob Ives said he plans to resign at the end of this year to spend more time with his family.

Investigators initially said they did not suspect foul play in the November 2016 fire, but in January in the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said investigators found accelerants and suspected arson.

The grandfather of the victims, Tracie Rose, said Wednesday he does not think the fire was intentional—a claim state police say is false. Rose, in a brief conversation with a reporter outside his Flora home, said he believes there was a problem with the house and he thinks investigators are quote “trying to cover up their own mess ups.”

State police already rebuked similar accusations last month, when an NAACP director said the investigation “smells of a cover up.”

“I’d give my life to find out who killed those little girls,” ISP Supt. Doug Carter said in response to the NAACP accusations.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to the now former Flora fire chief multiple times and we have not heard back. A man named Todd Trent said he is stepping in as fire chief.

According to ISP Sgt. Kim Riley, Randle is “not a part of the investigation as far as we are concerned anyway.”

If you know who started the fire, you’re asked to call the state’s Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628.