ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Two girls have died in a Clinton County house fire.
Rossville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Aron Fife confirms that two adults and an infant escaped the fire, which was reported around 2:30 a.m. on in the 2000 block of West County Road 700 North between Frankfort and Rossville.
Clinton County Coroner Ed Cripe on Saturday identified the girls as Amelia Heid, 5, and Shea Heid, 12. Their causes of death were listed as “smoke inhalation/carbon monoxide manner: accidental.”
According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy entered the home when it was filled with smoke but was unable to find the kids.
Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly told News 8 that one of his deputies was near the home when the family called 911. He said Deputy Jared Yoder met the parents in the driveway as they carried an infant daughter to safety. Kelly said the parents told Yoder their two older daughters were still inside and Yoder ran into the home to try to find them. He said Yoder might have gotten close to the girls but had to abort his search because the ceiling was collapsing.
Kelly said many of the emergency workers who responded have children of a similar age. When crews found the sisters’ bodies, he said it had an immediate and visible impact on everyone.
“You could see their shoulders shrug, and walking with their heads down a little bit,” he said.
Kelly said the surviving family members are staying with relatives who live nearby. Rossville School Student Councils posted on Facebook that collection buckets will be set up outside homerooms at Rossville Middle/High School, where the older daughter was a student.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Departments from Clinton, Tippecanoe and Carroll counties responded to the fire.
“This is one of those incidents as a parent and a first responder, you dread. We are all praying for the family and offering our support to all responders involved. I am proud of the quick actions of my deputy for selflessly and bravely entering the home to attempt to locate the girls. Our deputy was evaluated on scene for smoke inhalation. We thank our state agencies and those of surrounding counties for coordinating a response effort and giving us support to effectively deal with this event. Our Chaplains will remain available to all family members and first responders.”
Rich Kelly, Clinton County sheriff