- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SULLIVAN, Ind. (AP) - A predawn fire Tuesday at a southwestern Indiana day care center left a toddler dead in a playpen, authorities said.

A 17-month-old girl died of smoke inhalation in the fire at Waterman’s Wonderland Daycare, Sullivan County Coroner Jeff Griffith told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star and WTHI-TV. The name of the child was not being released pending notification of family members.

The girl’s body was recovered in a playpen, Sullivan Fire Chief Rob Robertson said.

About five other children were in the day care center when the fire began, Robertson said.

“The day care owner was able to get the rest of the children out,” Sullivan Police Officer Mike Gorgas, who was among the first emergency responders to arrive on the scene, told the Sullivan Daily Times. The other children were not injured.

A woman working at the day care center and the children told Gorgas they weren’t sure what happened.

“First they smelled smoke. And the next thing they knew there were flames,” Gorgas said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Robertson said the State Fire Marshal’s office was investigating.

The fire chief said counseling would be provided for firefighters who were shaken by the child’s death.

“We’re trying to get through it the best we can,” he said.

The day care building is a separate building near the owner’s residence on Sullivan’s south side.

It’s the second fatal fire in five days in the city about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis. A 72-year-old man died in an apartment tower blaze Thursday.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide