Coroner: 3 people killed in Fountain Co. house fire

ATTICA, Ind. - Three people believed to be a father and his 3-year-old and 18-month-old daughters were killed in a house fire in Fountain County early Tuesday.

A man called police just after midnight to say his home in the 300 block of West Washington Street in Attica was filling with smoke, but he couldn't find the fire.

When firefighters arrived three minutes later, they found the house engulfed by flames. Crews battled the blaze for several hours before finally dousing the fire.

Family members said Kelli Holycross Ward was running a quick errand nearby when she returned to find the home on fire.

Family members told RTV6 that Ward's husband, Lance Ward, 29, and the couple's daughters, Ryleigh Holycross Ward, 3, and Sage Ward, 18 months, were killed.

Lance Ward was found holding Sage Ward in his arms, while her sister was found between the family's two dogs, family members said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but officials said they do not suspect foul play. Investigators said the gas to the residence had been turned off for some time.

Attica Fire Chief Ed O'Farrell said that with the closeness of the community and several young firefighters, it was a rough morning for his crews and three other fire departments that were called in to assist.

O'Farrell said Attica had only three fire fatalities in 2012.

"We got some local ministers there that were called to the scene to help not only with the family and deal with her grief, but also to deal with some of our firefighters," O'Farrell said.

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