Investigation continues to determine cause, no indication of foul play

The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office continues to investigate the cause and origin of the multiple fatality fire that occurred on the evening of January 21 in the 200 block of N. LaPorte Avenue in South Bend.

Investigators await autopsy and toxicology reports for the six juvenile victims, a routine process in a fatal fire investigation. Additionally, investigators have scheduled a joint scene investigation with insurance companies involved with the property, and other experts also are working alongside investigators to identify the cause and origin of this tragic fire. At this point in the investigation, there is no indication of foul play in this incident. That said, it still is extremely important to preserve evidence for examination.

To clarify previously reported information: This investigation is still very much active and has not been “turned over” to insurance companies.

State Fire Marshal investigators are aware of a documented history of electrical issues at the home, although it has not yet been determined if those issues had been resolved prior to this incident. Witnesses indicated the home was equipped with working smoke detectors; however, investigators are working to confirm this information.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office is the lead agency in determining the cause and origin of the fire. South Bend Fire and South Bend Police are trusted partners in this investigation, and their assistance is greatly appreciated.

The sensitivity and complexity of these investigations require a very deliberate approach, and it is understandable for the community to be anxious to learn what caused this incident. As investigators gather more information and test results, a media update will be planned at the appropriate time.

No media interviews are being offered at this time. No additional information is available for release.