Mother, 3 children die in northeast Indiana house fire

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 10:07 AM EST
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FREMONT, Ind. (WPTA/Gray News/WNDU) - An early morning house fire in northeast Indiana claimed the lives of a mother and her three children, according to Indiana State Police.

Dispatch in Steuben County says a call came in around 5:02 a.m. Saturday on reports of a house fire in Fremont. According to officials, four nearby fire departments arrived on the scene at 5:09 a.m. to help assist.

Firefighters say they found three children and a woman inside the burning home, WPTA reports.

Fire officials say the three children were taken to a local hospital, where they later died. The mother, police say, was airlifted from the scene to a hospital in Fort Wayne, where she also died.

Officials say the four victims were believed to be in a single bedroom.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the fire. Preliminarily, the fire appears to have started on the second floor in an area that was not occupied at the time.

The investigation will take time to complete, and that information may not be readily available for some time.

On Sunday, Indiana State Police identified the victims as 37-year-old Rebecca White of Fremont, 5-year-old Emmett Freed, 3-year-old Eleanor Freed, and 21-month-old Alaura Freed.

Family members of the victims released the following statement to WPTA’s newsroom in which they thanked the community for their support and first responders for their bravery:

At this time we are currently grieving in private but would like to thank UMC in Fremont for the vigil in honor of Becky, Emmett, Eleanor, and Alaura. The town of Fremont is not your normal community, but a family, and this vigil will allow so many to come together and process this tragedy.

We also want to take this time to thank the first responders and medical staff yesterday for their bravery. I cannot imagine the toll this is taking on them and would like everyone to keep them in their prayers. This is tragic for everyone involved from family to friends, to the responders on scene, and also to the community.

Becky was a longstanding member of the town of Fremont. We have been reading stories from the community on all of the ways our family has touched their lives and it has been very comforting. Becky loved her town and her home.

Becky was a loving mother. Her babies were her miracles that she cherished and devoted her life to. Emmett, Eleanor, and Alaura were loved beyond belief. They were sweet, innocent, adorable children.

We are left devastated with so many questions, but we take comfort in knowing Becky and her babies have gone to be with Becky’s Father, Mother, and Brother in Heaven.

As you can imagine, we were not prepared for this tragedy. We are truly humbled by the outpouring of love from the community and appreciate the generous support we have received so far. While we currently do not have final costs, the donations received will go towards the Family Funeral service that will be held on Saturday, January 21st. The time is currently TBD.

Family members

There is a GoFundMe set up to help pay for funeral costs. You can find it by clicking here.

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