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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Deadly Indiana fire: ‘We did our best to get the kids out’

FORT WAYEN, IND ( Associated Press) – Uncles of four young children killed in Indiana Mobile home fire Survivors say “we did everything” to try to save the children.

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department said children aged 2, 3, 5 and 10 were killed in a fire in Fort Wayne on Thursday morning. Officials have not released the names of the children, but an 18-year-old uncle who was among the four who survived the fire, Travis Garrison, spoke to The Journal Gazette., The children belonged to his sister.

“We tried our best to get the kids out. “We did everything we could,” said Waterloo’s garrison.

The other survivors were Garrison’s sister, Audrey Kistler, 24; her boyfriend, Samuel Barnett, 17; and family friend Jessica Mann, 30, all of Fort Wayne, the sheriff’s department said Friday.

Garrison said he awoke from the heat of the fire at DuPont Estates Mobile Home Park on the north side of downtown.

“It was hazy, smoky. I couldn’t see anything,” he said.

When Garrison couldn’t open the front door deadbolt, he rushed to the back door, he said.

“I was running from the house shouting, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ Trying to grab everyone’s attention and wake them up.” “I came out the back door, and I’m still like ‘Fire!’ was screaming”

After he escaped, Garrison said he knocked on the window of the room where his sister, Kistler and Barnett were sleeping, then went to the front where three of his four children were in a bedroom.

Garrison said he heard Barnett breaking a window and learned that Barnett forced Kistler and followed him. Mann escaped from the back bedroom by pushing an air conditioner out.

Garrison tried to kick at the front door without success.

“I heard the kids screaming,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Kistler and the others climbed on top of the garrison’s pickup truck and tried to exit the boys’ bedroom window.

Neighbors called 911, and some got involved in the rescue effort.

Shelby Wright, who lives across the street, said she went outside after hearing the explosion.

“There was a lot of smoke,” Wright said. “I couldn’t even breathe, couldn’t see.”

He said a second blast made the situation worse.

Garrison said he had heard a propane tank whistling before the fire started.

When the Fort Wayne Fire Department arrived at 8:33 a.m., the fire had spread to the entire mobile home, according to statements from the Fire and Sheriff’s Departments.

Firefighters entered the house at 8:56 a.m. to douse the blaze and find the bodies of the children, a fire department news release said.

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