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Peer review of Flora fire completed; confirmed to have been intentionally ignited

In late November 2017 the Indiana State Police requested the Indianapolis Fire Department conduct a peer review of the origin and cause of the Flora Fire that occurred Nov. 21, 2016 and resulted in four deaths. The review commenced the first week of December 2017 and concluded this past Thursday, January 25, 2018.  A meeting to summarize the peer review analysis was held the afternoon of January 30th with detectives from the Indiana State Police, members of the Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Investigation Section and Indiana State Fire Marshal personnel.

It is important to understand a peer review is not a re-investigation. It is a review of actions already taken. The scope of the review was specific to the origin and cause of the fire.

The information shared with state police investigators at the January 30th meeting is now part of the ongoing investigative efforts and limited information will be shared at this time.  The peer review concentrated on examination of witness reports of people present at the time of the fire, inclusive of firefighters, law enforcement and citizen witnesses.  As part of this review there was also an onsite physical examination of the fire scene conducted by team members of an Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Investigation Section.  Additionally, the content of two “Origin & Cause” reports was reviewed.  One report was prepared by former Deputy Fire Marshal Dennis Randle, representing the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office.  The second report was completed by Michael Vergon, of Vergon & Associates Fire Investigation, which was retained by legal counsel representing the mother of the four deceased fire victims.  Both reports concluded the fire was intentionally set.  Since it is confirmed the fire was determined to have been intentionally set, the criminal investigation being conducted by the Indiana State Police will continue.

This investigation is active and ongoing.  The Indiana State Police is committed to solving this crime that resulted in the loss of four innocent lives. Anyone with information regarding this arson fire is asked to call 1-800-382-4628.  Callers may remain anonymous.  More information about the victims and the reward is available at this link: http://in.gov/isp/3475.htm

Source: News release from Indiana State Police