TIMELINE: The investigation into a deadly Flora fire that killed four young sisters
One year after a tragic fire claimed the lives of four Flora sisters, several key investigators have resigned their positions while more questions than answers remain about who, or what actually started the fire.
November 21, 2016: A fire breaks out at 103 East Columbia Street around 4 a.m. killing four Flora sisters - Keyana, 11, Keyara, 8, Kerrielle, 7, and Kionne, 5. The children’s mother, Gaylin Rose, was injured in the fire. Foul play was not suspected at the time of the fire.
November 22, 2016: Community members gathered for a vigil to honor the four girls killed in the Flora fire. Investigators still do not suspect foul play.
November 28, 2016: Investigators say they believe the fire that killed four Flora sisters started in a kitchen. Foul play is still not suspected at this time.
January 28, 2017: More than two months after a fire killed four Flora sisters, investigations rule the fire intentional, saying accelerants were found in “multiple” locations throughout the structure. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security established a $5,000 reward fund for information leading to an arrest in the case.
June 16, 2017: Indiana State Police said they were talking to “persons of interest” in connection with the Flora fire – but no suspects. “We have not got a suspect,” said ISP Sgt. Kim Riley said at the time. “Like any other case, we’ve got people we’ve got to track down and see if they’re telling us the truth or not.” June 23, 2017: Dennis Randle, Indiana Department of Homeland Security fire investigator assigned to the Flora fire investigation resigned.
June 23, 2017: Arson investigators clarify findings – accelerants were found in only one room – but the fire is still classified as arson. Investigators put out plea for anyone with information on the fire to contact the State Fire Marshall. State fire investigator, Dennis Randle, resigns from his position.
October 26, 2017: NAACP joins the family of Flora fire victims at a press conference to announce they are getting involved in the investigation. “The NAACP is just getting involved but based on information we have, it appears the investigation has been bungled in some kind of way,” Barbara Bolling, member of the NAACP National Board of Directors said that morning. “There are people out there who know and it smells. I know we’re just getting started here, but it smells of a cover-up.”
October 26, 2017: ISP hold a press conference in response to NAACP’s comments and concerns. “Even the notion that there would be even the perception of a cover-up in regards to an investigation involving our little girls is not only unsubstantiated but strikes me at the core of who I am and the agency I represent,” ISP Supt. Doug Carter said to the media. “I’d give my life to find out who killed those little girls.”
November 14, 2017: Flora Fire Chief Adam Randle steps down.
November 11, 2017: Carroll County Prosecutor Robert Ives announces he will be stepping down at the end of the year.