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Officials: Cause of Nineveh fire might not be known for weeks

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Investigators said it could take weeks before releasing the cause of the fire that killed two Nineveh children and critically injured their mother.

The Indiana Fire Marshal spent Saturday at the two-story home looking for potential causes of the blaze, which destroyed the building Friday evening.

The fire marshal has concluded the investigation at the scene at 1044 E. County Road 775S, but a report that includes the cause of the fire and where it started in the home is likely weeks away, Johnson County Coroner Craig Lutz said.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the fire marshal, declined to release details about how the cause will be determined and what has to be done before the report is finalized and released.

Sirena Slusher-Abbott, 27, who lived on the second floor of the home with her three children and their father, remained in critical condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis on Monday, hospital officials said.

Six-month-old John Slusher-Abbott Jr. and his sister Haley Slusher-Abbott, 18 months, both died from burns and smoke inhalation, according to an autopsy conducted during the weekend.

Multiple people, including Slusher-Abbott, firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies, tried to get to the front, south-facing part of the duplex where the two children were found, but they couldn’t get beyond the flames.

One sheriff’s deputy was treated for smoke inhalation after trying to get into the duplex.

Slusher-Abbott’s 5-year-old daughter ran next door to get help and was not injured in the blaze.

Lutz and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office have been aiding in the investigation and spent the weekend interviewing residents about what they saw before and after the fire broke out.

The cause of the fire isn’t known, but there’s no sign that a crime occurred, Lutz and Sheriff Doug Cox have said.

The sheriff’s office has finished interviewing residents along East County Road 775S and now is waiting for an update from the fire marshal to see what additional investigation might be needed, Cox said.

“We’ll continue to help them, assist them with anything they might need,” Cox said.

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