Two bodies found after Nineveh home destroyed by blaze; believed to be those of small children

Mom severely burned trying to save babies

NINEVEH, Ind. - For more than two hours, emergency crews battled a destructive and most likely fatal fire Friday evening in rural Johnson County. By 7 a.m. Saturday, crews had recovered the bodies of two young children.

The fire erupted just before 5 p.m. at a house in the 1100 block of E. County Road 775 South in Nineveh, Ind., right outside Camp Atterbury. 

At least eight fire departments and more than 60 firefighters responded to the scene. Authorities said the flames lasted for more than two hours.

Officials said five people lived in the upstairs unit of the building. The husband and father was the only family member not inside when the fire broke out. Sheriff Doug Cox said he was at work at the time of the fire.

Investigators said the mother of the family was able to escape the flames with her 5-year-old daughter.

But, Johnson County officials said, a 6-month-old boy and an 18-month-old girl were unaccounted for and were believed to be trapped in the home. Fire crews made attempts to get inside to save them, but they were pushed back by the fire.

The mother was severely burned attempting to re-enter the home and rescue her two young children. She was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital and then taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

"Nothing at this point looks criminal," Cox said.

Just before 7 a.m. Saturday, Sheriff Cox said two bodies were recovered from the scene in the front (south) end of the home upstairs. 

Cox said the first body was recovered by fire crews who were sifting through the rubble of the home. The second body was recovered by a cadaver dog called to the scene.

Those bodies were identified as belonging to John Ryan Slusher-Abbott, 6 months old, and Haley Lynn Slusher-Abbott, 18 months old.

Watch Good Morning Indiana beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday on RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

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