NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – A fatal house fire rocked a small Newburgh neighborhood along the Ohio riverfront Sunday night.
Warrick County Coroner Sarah Seaton said the victim is a one-year-old girl who died from what appears to be consistent with smoke inhalation. The family has requested the victim’s ID be withheld until tomorrow so that out of state family is notified.
“It was heartbreaking…it was terrible,” recounts neighbor Jenny Kenny.
A charred window and a scattered debris field is all that remains at the home in the 100 block of Plum Street.
Neighbors say the scene was chaotic unfolded just before 9 p.m. Sunday night.
“I kept hearing siren after siren after siren and noticed they would stop when they got close to me so I finally stepped out on to my front porch and there’s just smoke everywhere,” Kenny said.
Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the second floor of the home but it’s unclear how long the fire had been going on.
“They had that whole street blocked off and there were neighbors out you know seeing if there was anything they could do to help and I heard someone crying, so I knew something was going on,” Kenny said.
The fire was under control in around 25 minutes after firefighters arrived according to the Newburgh Police Department.
Newburgh Police spokesman Major Jonathan Scully said that even though authorities had a quick response time, the home’s location made it difficult to save the victim.
“Officers and first responders were actually able to get there within 26 seconds that was the actual response time for the first officer to get on scene,” Scully said. “Firefighters and EMS were to follow after that very shortly (and) after information was gathered that people were able to get out of the house, however, there was also still one more individual on the second floor they were unable to get out.”
Newburgh Police say there were also other injuries on scene.
“There was one family member who received minor burns themselves and there was one officer on scene who was seen at the hospital for smoke inhalation and he was later released,” Major Scully said.
Neighbors say the news hits close to home and is devastating.
“Emotions are heightened right now with everything going on with Covid-19 and it just makes it that much more heartbreaking,” Kenny said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
(This story was originally published on March 23, 2020)