Former resident dies in Indy fire: 92-year-old woman remembered for love of family

A former New Whiteland woman died Wednesday evening in a fire at an Indianapolis apartment complex.

Laura Icenogle, 92, was found unresponsive inside an apartment at Strawbridge Green Apartments, where she had lived the past three years with her 60-year-old daughter, an Indianapolis Fire Department news release said.

A family friend who had known Icenogle since she was a child described her as someone with a deep love for her family.

“If I could think of one quality that stood out the most about her, it was that she loved her children,” family friend Kathy McDermott said.

Multiple firefighters were called to the fire at 6:23 p.m. Wednesday and found heavy smoke on the first floor of the two-story building, the release said.

Icenogle’s daughter had already exited the building. She was taken to Eskenazi Hospital to be checked out, the release said. One dog, a poodle named Dawn, also died in the fire.

The cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $65,000 in damage to four apartment units and displaced 14 people, is still being investigated, the release said.

When McDermott moved to New Whiteland in 1957 at the age of five, Icenogle’s children were among the first friends that she made.

“She raised a large family under sometimes difficult circumstances,” McDermott said.

Icenogle outlived two of her children. Her oldest daughter, Linda Guge, was murdered in Tennessee in 2000. A son also died at a young age after a long illness, McDermott said.

Icenogle was someone who always remembered her friends, McDermott said, recalling a time she had seen Icenogle a few years back. When she saw her again a few days later, Icenogle gave her an American flag embroidery she had made for her.

“Even though I hadn’t seen her in many years, she remembered me,” McDermott said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2702.