5 children dead in South Bend house fire

UPDATE: Five children died in the house fire Sunday night. One child, an 11-year-old girl, was taken to a pediatric burn center in Indianapolis for treatment. The age range of the six children were 17 months to 11 years old. 

One adult was able to escape the blaze with minor injuries.  

Fire officials say the call came in around 6:30 p.m. 

The fire department released the following statement:

While this incident casts a shadow of sorrow over our community, particularly due to the loss of young lives, it is also a poignant reminder of the courage and dedication displayed by the members of the South Bend Fire Department. The firefighters of Engine 2, in their unyielding commitment to protect and serve, exhibited a profound disregard for their own safety in the face of extreme danger. Their actions reflect the highest ideals of selflessness and a citizens-first ethos, characteristics emblematic of the bravery inherent in our city's first responders.

As we mourn the lives lost, we also extend our deepest sympathies to the families affected by this tragedy. The South Bend Fire Department is committed to providing support to these families during this difficult time and is working closely with local & State authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.

We are also caring for one of our firefighters who fell through the second floor onto the first floor. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He is now recovering at home and is expected to recover and return to work in the near future.

In closing, Fire Chief Buchanon urges the community to join us in honoring the memory of the young lives lost and in recognizing the heroic efforts of our firefighters who, without hesitation, risked everything in their attempt to save South Bend's own. Fire Chief Carl Buchanon would like to remind all residents to test their smoke alarms. The department collaborates closely with the American Red Cross installing free smoke alarms to the residents of South Bend.

Three of the children attended the South Bend Community School Corporation. Dr. Todd Cummings, Superintendent of the South Bend Community School Corporation, issued the following statement:

The South Bend Community Schools community was saddened to hear the news of the five lives lost during last night’s fire on LaPorte Avenue. Three of the victims attended South Bend Schools. Two of three children perished in the fire. One child survived and is currently in the hospital. Our hearts go out to the family as they face this tremendous loss as well as to the entire community as we each grapple with this tragedy.

Support for the family is currently being coordinated by SBCSC staff. Social workers are on hand at the schools to provide counseling and assistance for classmates and staff.

We are grateful for the heroic efforts of the South Bend Fire Department and our thoughts are with those sustaining injuries. We are grateful for their service to our community.


The South Bend Fire Department responded to a fire that was reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday night in the 200 block of LaPorte Avenue.

At least five firetrucks responded with dozens of firefighters. They continued fighting the flames till just before 9 p.m.

One responding firefighter fell through the second story floor and was taken to the hospital for his injuries. South Bend Fire Department Chief Buchanon said the firefighter has been discharged and is going to be okay. 

A portion of the roof collapsed through a combination of the fire and water pressure.

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