Husband dies after trying to save wife from Henry County fire

Cause of fire undetermined due to massive damage

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. - A man was critically injured in a house fire in Henry County early Thursday. Then, Monday, that man died after trying to save his wife, who was killed in the blaze.

The fire was reported at a home in the 600 block of East Broad Street in Spiceland when a neighbor called 911 just before 4 a.m.

UPDATE at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30: The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office said the cause of the fire was ruled "undetermined" due to how badly the building was damaged.

Dispatchers said the residence was a barn that had been converted into a home and that the man and woman lived on the top floor, RTV6's Julie Pursley reported.

The man, identified as 58-year-old Eugene Hollars, suffered serious burns and was flown via medical helicopter to Eskenazi Health, firefighters said. Officials said he was trying to rescue his wife before neighbors stopped him.

Eskenazi Hospital officials said Eugene Hollars died Monday.

The woman who died was later identified as 58-year-old Rita Hollars. The fire also killed the family dog.

"I was under the impression that she may have been in bed prior, but we found her body, the garage door inside the garage area, so she was trying to get out evidently," Spiceland Fire Department Chief Scott Teague said.

Neighbors said the couple had lived there for decades.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

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