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Fire that killed four sisters ruled intentional, no suspects

Investigators seeking help
Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 18:16:42-05

FLORA, Ind. -- A fire that claimed the lives of four sisters in Carroll County in November 2016 has been ruled intentional. 

The cause of the fire, which happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 21 on E. Columbia Street in Flora, had previously been ruled "undetermined" because of the amount of damage to the building. 

Investigators with the Indiana State Fire Marshal announced Saturday that the fire, which they originally believed started behind the refrigerator in the kitchen, was incendiary, but they currently do not have any suspects they are pursuing. Investigators said they found accelerants in multiple locations of the structure.

The State Fire Marshal is requesting help in identifying anyone who may have been involved. If you know anything about the fire, call the Indiana State Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628.

The girls killed were daughters to Gaylin Rose: Keyana Davis, 11, Keyara Phillips, 9, Kerrielle McDonald, 7, and Kionne Welch, 5. Gaylin was injured in the fire and airlifted from the scene. Her current condition was not made immediately available. 

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The home was originally a single-family residence that had been divided into two apartments.

The young girls lived in the ground floor apartment with their mother. A woman and her two children lived in the second apartment. The mother in the second apartment was the only one home in that unit at the time and was able to escape unharmed.

Two law enforcement officers were also injured, one from the Carroll County Sheriff's Department and one from the Flora Police Department.

Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Drew Yoder was injured trying to save the girls. He was airlifted to a Ford Wayne burn center where he was hooked up to a ventilator because of issues with his lungs. 

Flora Police Officer Josh Disinger was also hurt in the fire. He was taken to a Lafayette hospital.

Both have since recovered and returned to work. 

Fire investigators say a smoke alarm in the upstairs hallway was found without batteries. An alarm in the second apartment with the uninjured mother was in working condition.

All four girls attended Carroll Consolidated Schools. 

Again, if you have any information on this fire, call the Indiana State Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628.