Hammond agencies investigate fatal fire

2014-01-14T18:00:00Z 2014-01-15T23:20:05Z Hammond agencies investigate fatal fireMatt Mikus matt.mikus@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com
January 14, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Hammond's Fire, Police and Code Enforcement departments are teaming up to investigate the fire last week at 644 Sibley St. that killed three children.

City attorney Kristina Kantar said the three departments are looking into the situation, but was not willing to comment on whether any criminal charges are being considered.

"Right now there is an investigation," Kantar said. "We want to look to see if there's anything beyond a civil case."

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Margraf had said at the time of the blaze that the fire department wasn't considering criminal charges.

The fire department has been in touch with the property's insurance company, Margraf said, but have not heard from the property owner.

"Normally someone calls the building owner to tell them their building is on fire," Margraf said, making contact with the owner simple. "In this case, nothing happened."

Kantar said the city has been trying to inspect the property since May, but has not been able to access the building due to what she called legal maneuvering by those associated with the property ownership.

Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller said his department would assist the Fire Department in the ongoing investigation.

The fire killed Dasani Young, 4; Alexia Young, 3; and Jaden Young, 7 months, who were trapped inside the house.

The father, Andre Young, 27, remains in critical condition at John R. Stroger Hospital after carrying two children out of the blaze. The two boys, Isaiah Sammon, 6, and Evian Young, 2, were released from John R. Stroger on Saturday.

Stephanie Pittman, of Hammond, the boys' grandmother, is seeking custody of the two children.

City officials said the Young family residence in the lower level of the house had no electricity, water or gas for at least six months.

A court hearing was scheduled for Thursday prior to the fire to inspect the property.

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