Ind. mobile home fire kills 5 in family
SULPHUR, Ind. — Shaken and dazed, the large gathering joined hands to brace for the horrific news they had dreaded — a fire that swept through a relative's mobile home early Thursday had killed two children and three adults in southern Indiana.
It took firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze that gutted the home near Sulphur, about 30 miles west of Louisville. Authorities suspect the fire was sparked by a wood stove that served as the source of heat.
A teary-eyed Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson gathered the family to inform them that the death toll was five. He brought along local fire and rescue Chaplain Hank Ruff, still in the muddy, sooty firefighting gear he wore to help extinguish the overnight blaze.
“There were cries and breakdowns,” Wilkerson said. “It's like a wall falls on you. It felt like that to me.”
At the sheriff's request, Ruff led the group in a middle-of-the-night prayer. It was a simple prayer that “asked the Lord to strengthen us in our time of need,” he said.
Although they had an electric furnace, the occupants had been using a wood stove to heat the home, Wilkerson said.
The homeowner's father, who lives nearby, spotted the flames about 12:30 a.m. He rushed to the burning home and got a gash on his hand as a rescue attempt was driven back by intense flames, Wilkerson said.
“There was just no way he could get in there. It was fully engulfed by that time,” the sheriff said.
The mobile home's owner, John Denton, 32, died in the blaze along with his 8-year-old daughter Kara Denton, and Denton's half brother, Bill Turben, 35, relatives said. John Denton's girlfriend and her 3-year-old son also died in the blaze.
The family was told of the deaths in the father's mobile home, a short walk from the burned home.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NYPD officer shot over weekend dies
- Former tech executive Carly Fiorina enters presidential race
- Researchers find new, elusive bird species
- U.S. intel misjudged al-Qaida, ex-CIA official’s book says
- Curfew lifted in Baltimore
- Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces White House campaign
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- McCain renews push to have military, not CIA, manage drone strikes
- Shuster defends relationship with top lobbyist
- Colo. movie patrons recall horror of shooting
- Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Mayorkas defends visa ethics