News and Tribune

Police & Fire News

January 5, 2014

UPDATE: Space heater sparked New Albany fire that killed three children

Officials vigilant in stressing heating safety as subzero weather approaches

NEW ALBANY — With subzero temperatures expected Monday, local and state officials are being extra vigilant in stressing heating safety — an issue that hit close to home early Saturday morning.

Three children were killed and another was taken to the Indianapolis Burn Center following an early morning house fire at 335 Ealy St. in New Albany after items left too close to a space heater ignited in flames, according to New Albany Fire Chief Matt Juliot.

The fire started around 2 a.m. in the one-story house, Juliot said. When the first engine arrived, the fire was fully involved. The children’s mother and a friend escaped from the house.

The last time multiple children were killed in a fire in New Albany was about 13 to 15 years ago, according to Juliot. A space heater was the cause of that fire, too.

“It’s never easy losing people. It’s especially difficult when children are involved,” Juliot said. “It’s tough on everyone involved ... police, fire, EMS.”

In a news release, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan and the city’s fire department offered “their most heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this tragedy.”

According to the release,  an investigation into the cause of the fire “determined that combustibles were within very close proximity to a space heater.” The New Albany and Jeffersonville fire departement investigation bureaus and the Indiana State Fire Marshall’s fire investigator assisted in the investigaiton, and all three agencies reached the same conclusion regarding the cause of the fire, the release stated.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third of home heating fires and four out of five home heating fire deaths in 2011.

Juliot reminded residents to keep a 3-foot perimeter around any kind of heating source and not to leave it unattended. He also emphasized regularly maintenancing smoke detectors and making sure they have fresh batteries.

The home on Ealy Street was equipped with smoke detectors but “firefighters do not recall if they heard any audible noise” when they responded to the blaze, Juliot said.

Names of the victims and their ages have not been released.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Police & Fire News
LOCAL MAGAZINES
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.