Three children died Saturday morning after being pulled from a house fire in rural Miami County.
Maconaquah School Corporation posted on Facebook the children who died were Miracle and Steven Gingerich, both Pipe Creek Elementary students, as well as their 1-year-old sister, Wilma.
“My heart and the hearts of Pipe Creek and Maconaquah staff are absolutely broken over this devastating loss,” Pipe Creek Principal Laura Fulton said. “We send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the Gingerich children.”
“Both Miracle and Steven had contagious smiles and a bubbly energy that will be sorrowfully missed by their teachers and many friends,” the post said.
Laura Gingerich, 27, the mother of the children, called dispatch around 10:48 a.m. to report the fire at their house located at 13475 S. 300 East.
Fire units made a quick entry into the home and recovered the three children in a second-floor room that contained heavy smoke, according to a release.
The children were all found unconscious and not breathing. Police officers, multiple firefighters and paramedics started life-saving measures, including CPR.
Miracle, 6, was transported by ambulance to a Kokomo hospital. Steven, 5, and Wilma were transported by ambulance to a Peru hospital. Police said all three children died while at the hospital.
Early evidence indicates that Laura Gingerich was in a downstairs bathroom while the children were in a second-floor room. She smelled smoke and tried to get to her children. The smoke was allegedly too thick for her to make it up the stairs. She then called 911, police said.
Dave Vitek, chief deputy of the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, said a medical helicopter was also called out, but was not able to fly due to weather conditions.
Police say the fire is an active investigation led by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office.
At this time, the cause of the fire and what caused the children’s deaths has not been determined. An autopsy will be scheduled.