Victims of Milford fire to be identified this weekend, coroner says

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze at Medina Body Shop.

Posted on Feb. 14, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

MILFORD — Officials are still working to determine the cause of an early Thursday morning fire in Milford as well as the identities of the two people found dead in the fire.

Firefighters were called to Medina's Body Shop, 310 N. Higbee St. at 7:22 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Five area fire departments responded and the blaze was under control before 11:15 a.m., according to the Kosciusko County 911 Call Center.

Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson said Friday afternoon, Feb. 14, that autopsies on the two unidentified victims were being conducted in Fort Wayne and he hoped to have more information to release by Friday evening.

He said the identities of the victims should be released sometime this weekend.

Earlier reports stating that it could take up to six weeks to identify the victims were incorrect, Wilson said. 

"Full autopsy results can take up to six weeks," he said.

Milford Fire Chief Todd Haines said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. His department is working with the Kosciusko County Squad 70 fire investigation team and Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office on the investigation.

Haines said he did not know if the victims, who were found in an apartment in the building, lived there or were employees at the shop.

"From what I understand, people who worked there would sometimes stay (in the apartment) if they worked late at night," Haines said.

Syracuse/Turkey Creek Township, Leesburg/Plain Township, Nappanee and New Paris all assisted in helping to get the fire under control. The American Red Cross also assisted on the scene.

A family member told crews that the victims were inside of the building, but the intensity of the blaze prevented firefighters from going inside as quickly as they wanted to. Haines said the victims were already dead by the time firefighters were able to enter the building.


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