2 young boys die in house fire

Man hospitalized for burns, smoke inhalation after Jennings blaze

BY JULIE MCCLURE
For The Tribune

BUTLERVILLE

Two brothers, ages 3 and 4, died in a house fire late Thursday night in eastern Jennings County.

The fire was reported at 11:16 p.m., when firefighters went sent to 1375 N. County Road 615E in Campbell Township, said deputy Bryan Katterhenry of the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

The boys who died from the fire were Carson Collett, 4, and his brother, Carter Collett, 3, said Alden Rudicel, Jennings County deputy coroner.

They lived at the home with their grandfather, Kenneth L. Collett, 55, Jennings County Sheriff Gary Driver said.

Because of thick smoke and flames, the grandfather was unable to locate the two boys inside the home and they were unable to get out of the home on their own, Katterhenry said.

Their bodies were located in a bedroom after the fire was extinguished by firefighters from Campbell Township, Vernon Township, DePont, North Vernon and a rescue squad, Driver said.

Autopsies on the boys were being conducted Friday afternoon and their cause of death was not immediately available, Rudicel said.

The boys are the sons of Joshua and Ashley Collett, according to Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home.

When firefighters and sheriff’s deputies arrived, the one-story frame home in a wooded area was fully engulfed, Driver said.

A neighbor in a house about 300 yards away who shares a driveway with the Collett residence looked out and saw the fire and reported it, Driver said.

There had been telephone contact with the home by a family member at 10 p.m., so the fire is believed to have started sometime between 10 p.m. and when the 911 call was placed, Driver said.

Kenneth L. Collett was able to escape the home and was taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital before being transferred to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation. He was listed in good condition at the hospital Friday, hospital officials said.

About 30 to 35 firefighters worked at the scene until at least 3 a.m. Friday, Driver said. Indiana State Police and Jennings County sheriff’s deputies and a detective assisted at the scene.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is conducting an investigation into the fire, deputies said.

Pending arrangements

Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home and Cremation Services, North Vernon, is handling arrangements for Carson Collett, 4 and his brother, Carter Collett, 3. See obituary on Page A5.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.