The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

State News

February 23, 2014

2 siblings die from fire injuries in Indianapolis; 6 total

INDIANAPOLIS — Two young children died Sunday from injuries they sustained in a house fire that killed two of their siblings and their parents, an Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman said.

Miranda Guerra, 14, and her 6-year-old brother, Fuentes, were pronounced dead Sunday afternoon at Riley Hospital for Children, Capt. Rita Reith said.

The extended family was working with the hospital for possible organ procurement, Reith said.

"We believe this to be the largest single loss of life for a family due to fire in the IFD service district," Reith said.

The two children had been considered in "extreme critical" condition following the fire, which happened Saturday morning on Indianapolis' east side.

Authorities said Lionel "Leo" Guerra, 47, and his 33-year-old wife, Brandy Mae, were pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Eskenazi Hospital on Saturday. The couple's 11-year-old son, Esteban, and 8-year-old daughter, Blanquita, were pronounced dead Saturday at Riley Hospital.

WTHR-TV reported a fifth, older sibling, Luis Guerra, had been keeping a vigil at Riley Hospital for Miranda and Fuentes. His age was not reported, and it wasn't clear where he was at the time of the fire.

Investigators have not found the cause or place of origin for the fire, but they do not suspect any foul play, Reith said.

Investigators did not find any smoke detectors in the home, she said.

The home is adjacent to a busy Interstate 70 overpass, and a motorist on that highway reported the fire about 9:10 a.m. Saturday, Reith said. Subsequent 911 calls led crews to the home's exact location in a lower-income neighborhood with a mix of small homes next to an industrial corridor.

Firefighters found the six victims unconscious inside the small bungalow-style home and brought them outside, starting efforts to resuscitate them on the lawn, Reith said.

The latest deaths brought the total number of fire deaths in the city fire department's service district to 10 for this year, Reith said.

— The Associated Press

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