OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
12:43 PM – Monday, January 22, 2024
Five children were tragically killed in a house fire in South Bend, Indiana.
The South Bend Fire Department responded to calls of a residential house fire on Sunday.
Chief Carl Buchanon said in a Facebook post that upon arrival, firefighters were met with intense flames engulfing the first and second floors of the structure.
Teams managed to suppress a significant portion of the blaze after attacking the heart of the fire on the first floor before moving to the second, where multiple people were reported to be trapped.
A total of six victims were extracted from the fire, however, five of whom were children who were later pronounced dead due to severe injuries. The victims ages ranged from 17-months-old to 11-years-old.
One survivor, 11, was reportedly taken to the hospital and was later airlifted to a pediatric burn center in Indianapolis for treatment. The 11-year-old remained in treatment going into Monday, officials said.
One adult inside at the time of the incident was also able to escape with minor injuries.
A firefighter who had attempted to get the children out reportedly fell through the second floor onto the first. He was then transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.
The South Bend Fire Department is working with local and state authorities to investigate the cause of the blaze.
“In closing, Fire Chief Buchanon urges the community to join us in honoring the memory of the young lives lost and in recognizing the heroic efforts of our firefighters who, without hesitation, risked everything in their attempt to save South Bend’s own. Fire Chief Carl Buchanon would like to remind all residents to test their smoke alarms. The department collaborates closely with the American Red Cross installing free smoke alarms to the residents of South Bend,” it continued.
According to Buchanon, this particular home fire was the deadliest he had seen in South Bend during his tenure.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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