LOGANSPORT, Ind. — Indiana State Police have released the identities of six people killed in an early Wednesday morning fire in Logansport.
Crews arrived at the home in the 4300 Pottawatomie Point Road in rural Logansport around 2 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a 911 call about a house fire with entrapment. Two Cass County sheriff’s deputies arrived and found the two-story home engulfed in flames.
The deputies couldn’t get inside the home due to the intensity of the fire. Officers encountered two adults who managed to escape but six people, including four children, were still inside.
Indiana State Police identified the victims:
- Brandi Vail, 25 years old
- Marshall Hite, 1 month old (Brandi’s child)
- Rhylie Hite, 1 year old (Brandi’s child)
- Swayzee Hite, 3 years old (Brandi’s child)
- Joseph Huddleston, 42 years old (Brandi’s stepfather)
- Kadee Huddleston, 10 years old (Joseph Huddleston’s child)
Sheila Huddleston, 43, and Brandon Huddleston, 19, escaped from the home. Shelia is Joseph Huddleston’s wife and Brandon is his son, police said. The two survivors suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to state police, and were taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital. One of the deputies responding to the scene suffered smoke inhalation but refused medical treatment at the scene.
In addition to the deaths caused by the fire, police are also investigating the death of Daniel Hite, who is the father of three of the victims. He was found dead in his home on the day of the fire, but police do not believe he is connected to the incident in any way. They are waiting for toxicology results to come back.
Firefighting efforts were hampered by cold temperatures, strong winds and a lack of on-scene access to water. At one point, crews brought in water from a Logansport hydrant when their tanker trucks ran dry. Once the fire was out, first responders were tasked with searching for the victims.
State police said the Cass County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation into the fire. Investigators said there is no evidence at this time that the fire was intentionally set. State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said the fire “was accidental with the cause undetermined.” Investigators have ruled out arson.
Greeson said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home.
A cousin of the victims has set up a fundraising page here. Additionally, the family has set up a fund at Security Federal Savings Bank in Logansport. It is in the name of the Hite Children Fire Fund.