Authorities urge smoke alarms after deadly Logansport fire

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LOGANSPORT, Ind.- Authorities say the fire that killed six people, including four children, in Logansport early Wednesday was accidental, but a specific cause hasn’t been determined. Family members of those six victims said they are still trying to process such a terrible loss.

“It has been a struggle,” said Levi Holder, a cousin of two of the victims, “we're all still in shock just to hear what happened."

Twenty-five-year-old Brandi Vail and her three children, one-month-old Marshall, one-year-old Rhylie, and three-year-old Swayzee all died. Forty-two-year-old Joseph Huddleston and his ten-year-old daughter Kadee also did not survive.

Forty-three-year-old Sheila Huddleston and nineteen-year-old Brandon Huddleston managed to escape. Family members said Sheila is set to be released on Friday and Brandon was released Thursday afternoon.

Authorities confirm there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

“I just never thought I’d be in a situation where we'd have something tragic in our community affect our family and it's been overwhelming,” said Holder.

Authorities are still trying to find out exactly what caused the fire.

“Right now it is an accidental fire, undetermined cause,” said Indiana State Fire Marshall Jim Greeson.

Fire investigators have ruled out major electrical appliances like the stove, water heater or electrical box, as the source. They also say nothing shows it was set intentionally.

“We just can’t get to the point where we are definitive on what that cause may have been,” said Greeson.

Investigators say it appears at least some of those inside knew what was happening and were trying to get out but didn’t make it.

“The one individual we found was just three feet from the door,” said Greeson.

Authorities said this is a sad reminder of the importance of smoke detectors.

“A working smoke alarm is your best best possible escape for a home fire and you can’t emphasize that enough,” said Greeson, “no matter how much we think we know where we are in our homes, when you have a fire condition and heavy smoke condition you become so disoriented to quickly.”

The investigation is ongoing and state officials said they will continue to do what they can to find out the specific cause of this fire.

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