FLORA, Ind. — Nearly 7 years after the tragic Flora fire took the lives of four young girls in 2016, a U.S. district court has ordered the home to be razed, or “demolished.”
The order filed on Aug. 16 stated that the parties involved confirmed there was, “no need for continued preservation of the property at 103 E. Columbia Street, Flora.”
It went on to say the parties nor the court had any objection to the “razing of the damaged property.”
The home had been in the spotlight for years after the four girls were killed in the deadly fire. To this day, no official suspect was identified in the incident.
In May 2023, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter surprised FOX59 crews when he admitted that Gaylin Rose, the girl’s mother was not considered a suspect in the case. Carter told Investigative Reporter Steve Brown “no” when asked if Rose was a suspect.
Carter’s emphatic answer was the first time his law enforcement agency has disclosed whether a person was or was not a suspect.
Rose, has maintained that she doesn’t know who would’ve wanted to set her or her kids on fire. Even leading her to move away from Flora a year after the fire to get away from the “horrible loss of her daughters.”
During that interview with Superintendent Carter, another point was raised about the comparison many have made between the fire investigation and the probe of the Delphi murders.
The February 2017 murders of Abby Williams and Libby German at ages 13 and 14 respectfully, in Delphi came just three months after the Flora fire took the lives of Keyana Davis, 11, Keyara Phillips, 9, Kerriele McDonald, 7, and Kionnie Welch, 5.
Carter called the comparison “unfair” and that connecting an arson, with very little information to a homicide that’s developed over 80,000 tips is an “unfair analogy.”
Mike Vergon, a former ATF fire investigator had been inside the home and created a report investigating the fire as part of an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s owners.
Part of his report mentioned a next-door neighbor who rushed into the house the night of the fire before police or fire officials arrived. The neighbor was attempting to save the four girls before the smoke pushed him back.
“We came to our determination that it was a set fire,” Vergon explained.
Vergon added that he was confident in his assessment and is set to be a potential witness in the upcoming wrongful death case.
Gaylin Rose sent FOX59 the following statement:
“I have never understood why the house was still up. I hope that this civil suit is able to provide some clarity for me & my family.”
The civil trial is scheduled for sometime in early 2024 as of now.