Community hopeful for arrest one year after Flora fire kills 4 sisters

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FLORA, Ind. --A small town community is still mourning the loss of four little girls killed in a house fire.

It's been one year since the sisters died in a tragic house fire in Flora that authorities say someone set on purpose. One year later, investigators still have not made an arrest.

Neighbors replay the horrific scene that happened in the heart of downtown Flora on Nov. 21, 2016.

The now boarded up house still has crime scene tape, along with no trespassing signs. For Lisa Boyd, it serves as a constant reminder of the beautiful lives lost inside.

"If it was nice, they were outside, always smiling and waving and laughing. It’s been a very quiet summer since they've been gone," Boyd said.

Keyana Davis, 11, Keyara Phillips, 9, Kerriele McDonald, 7, and Kionnie Welch, 5 were trapped inside their home on Columbia Street when it went up in flames. Their mother, Gaylin Rose made it out, but was rushed to the hospital.

Two officers were also hurt trying to save the girls.

Investigators said the fire was arson, but have not made any arrests. Some in the community feel haunted, knowing the person responsible could still be walking their streets.

"I wish they would find some answers," said Flora resident Taylor Kreesley.

"We’ve been keeping them in our prayers and hoping they catch whoever did it," added Andrea Montgomery, who's lived in Flora for more than 20 years.

For these neighbors, it's been a rough year waiting for answers and missing the laughter and joy coming from the house downtown.

As devastating as the days, weeks, and even months have been, the community is clinging to hope. They've come together in many ways to support the family with fundraisers and events.

A bench was dedicated in honor of the four girls killed, as well as two teens in Delphi.

On the one-year anniversary of the fire, Indiana State Police said there's nothing new with the investigation.

Over the past year, the investigation has taken many turns, but yielded few answers. FOX59 exposed inaccuracies in the state fire investigator's initial report, which stated accelerants were found "all over the house." In reality, state police said they were only found in one spot.

The state fire investigator was the first to resign. Then the county prosecutor announced his retirement at the end of this year for personal reasons. Flora's fire chief also resigned.

If you know anything about the fire, you're encouraged to call police.

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