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Town rallies to support mother after fire

FLORA, Ind. (WISH) — On Tuesday a crowd huddled around a burned out home, carrying teddy bears, balloons and other stuff animals.

The home sits on the 100 block of Columbia Street in Flora, located in Carroll County.

A fire ripped through the home killing four sisters: 5-year-old Kionnie Precious Welch, 7-year-old Kerriele Danyell McDonald, 9-year-old Keyara Janell Phillips and 11-year-old Keyana Latrice Davis.

“Having a little girl of my own it affected me a lot,” said Mitchell Stevens, who brought a teddy bear.

The mother of the four girls, Gaylin Rose, was rushed to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in serious condition.

The Flora United Methodist Church held a prayer vigil at 7:00 p.m. to pray for the family and community. Afterwards, the vigil attendees will walked a block to the house where the fire happened and placed flowers around the home.

“I believe prayer is essential and our faith is essential at a time like this,” said Pastor Jeff Landon.

Many attending the vigil said they will turn to each other for support. All four girls were on a cheer team. Many members of that team and their families showed up with posters and candles to make a memorial outside the house.

“It is going to be a long process. Something like this changes you forever,” said Allie Sheets.

24-Hour News 8 spoke with the grandfather of those four girls. He called himself blessed for having the time he did with Kionnie, Kerriele, Keyara and Keyana.

He said he will now focus on being strong for his daughter, the mother of those young girls.

“For my daughter to say, Dad, I tried. I tried to get them, but Dad there was just too much smoke. That’s the only thing that sits with me,” said Tracie Rose.

A fund has been set up for the Gaylin Rose at Lafayette Bank and Trust First Merchants Bank.

Currently investigators have no timetable on when a cause of the fire will be determined.