MIAMI COUNTY — Three children are dead after a house fire Saturday morning in Miami County, according to the Howard County Coroner and Indiana State Police.
Firefighters and emergency personnel were called to the fire around 10:45 a.m. in the 13400 block of East County Road 1300 South, northeast of Kokomo.
Three children, who are related, were taken to local hospitals and later died, Howard County Coroner Steve Steele and Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum said.
Miracle Gingerich, 6, Steven Gingerich, 5, and Wilma Gingerich, 18 months, were killed, Slocum said.
They were in an upstairs bedroom when their mother, who was downstairs, smelled smoke and called 911, Slocum said. She was unable to get to the children due to the fire.
Deputies and state police troopers tried to rescue the kids when they arrived, but were also unable to, Slocum said. Firefighters used a ladder and broke a window to rescue two of the children. They then went upstairs, put out the fire, and were able to rescue the third child.
Miracle and Steven were students at Pipe Creek Elementary School, according to the Maconaquah School Corporation.
"My heart and the hearts of Pipe Creek and Maconaquah staff are absolutely broken over this devastating loss," Pipe Creek Elementary School Principal Laura Fulton said in a Facebook post. "We send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the Gingerich children.”
Counselors will be available for all students and staff next week, according to the post. Principals will be available by phone and email this weekend to offer guidance to the community.
To our community, It is with deep sorrow that Maconaquah School Corporation acknowledges the passing of two Pipe Creek...
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Slocum said. Investigators don't suspect the cause to be a criminal act after a preliminary investigation.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office and Indiana State Police detectives are assisting the Miami County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.