The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office confirms four children died in an early morning house fire today (Mon) in Flora.
Emergency responders said four children and their mother were inside the home. The children ranged in age from 4 to 13. There was no word on the woman’s condition yet. Authorities said she was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital.
Firemen answered the call about 3:30 am.
Two law enforcement officers were also injured.
Carroll County Sheriff deputy Drew Yoder was flown by helicopter to a hospital burn unit in Fort Wayne. He had received burns to his hands and forehead, as well as severe smoke inhalation.
Flora police officer Josh Disinger was also hurt. He’s in stable condition at IU Health Arnett hospital in Lafayette.
A 46-year-old Rankin man was been sentenced Friday to 39 years in prison for shooting his former father-in-law year. Vernon Scott Lee had no comment in court before Circuit Judge Thomas O’Shaughnessy handed down the sentence.
Lee pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder for the shooting of 65-year-old Donald Frazier of rural Rankin. Several other charges in the bizarre hostage-situation were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.
Lee had also been charged for allegedly shooting 35-year-old Jeffrey Turner in the November 2015 incident. Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn had said a domestic dispute apparently triggered the incident.
Sheriff’s Deputies found that Donald Frazier and Jeffrey Turner had both been shot several times when they arrived at a residence in northwest Vermilion County.
Donald Frazier is the father of Lee’s estranged wife, Emily Lee. Turner was Emily Lee’s boyfriend.
The episode unfolded after Lee was given a ride by a friend to the victim’s house in rural Rankin. There, Frazier was shot and tied up by Lee. Police said Lee then waited for Frazier’s wife to return home. Sharon Frazier was then forced to lure her daughter, Emily and her boyfriend, Turner, to the home with a text message.
Police reports stated Sharon Frazier and her daughter were not injured. They contacted police after Lee fled in a stolen vehicle. Lee was later taken into custody at his Rankin home after he shot himself.
Star Plaza Theatre in northwest Indiana to remain open
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — The owners of a 3,400-seat theater in northwest Indiana that has featured top entertainers such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have changed plans and won't demolish the facility.
Star Plaza Theatre President Charlie Blum told The Times of Northwest Indiana the decision to preserve the theater was made because of an outpouring of community support. White Lodging Services Corp. announced in August it would demolish the theater as part of a project to build a new adjoining Radisson hotel.
The company announced it has determined it could put the new hotel and more green space on the site and still have room for the theater and sufficient parking.