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Anderson Co. Sheriff confirms death of Elkhart fire victims

ELKHART, June 28, 2013--Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor has confirmed the death of two children who were victims of a residential fire at 107 Church Street, in Elkhart, on Wednesday morning. According to the Sheriff, the two children were taken off life support and passed away on Thursday evening.

The fire, which is believed to have started in the living room of the home, spread quickly, and the house was fully engaged in fire by the time firefighters arrived on scene. The children, recent Elkhart High School graduate Shauna VanStory, age 19, and 13 year-old Michael Murdock were trapped inside the home. Elkhart, Slocum, Tucker, and Southside Volunteer Fire Departments, as well as the Palestine Regional Medical Center Ambus, all responded to the scene. Rescuers were able to get the children out of the house and CPR was performed on both before they were transported by Life Flight to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

A candlelight vigil was held last night at the scene of the fire. Community members came together to pray for the family and show their support.

“It is an extremely tragic situation,” said Sheriff Taylor. “Your heart just breaks for the parents of these children.”

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. Preliminary reports show the fire likely began in the living room, and no foul play is suspected. However, because the fire involved a fatality, the State Fire Marshall’s Office will be on scene today to assist in the investigation, as required by law. An autopsy has also been ordered on both children.

Two fundraisers will be held on Saturday, June 29. A bake sale will be held at O-Yez Coffee Bar and Gift Shop, beginning at 6:30 a.m., and a car wash will begin at 8:00 a.m., right behind the bake sale. All proceeds from the fundraisers will be given to the family of the victims.

The funeral has been tentatively set for Monday evening, at Elkhart High School, located at 301 E. Parker Street, in Elkhart.

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