Two young girls are dead after a home was engulfed by smoke and flames early Friday morning in rural Clinton County.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an active house fire at 2076 W. Co. Road 700 N. at approximately 2:26 a.m. Friday. Initial reports indicated that two children were trapped inside the residence. A juvenile female made it out of the home with her mother and father. A sheriff’s deputy made entry into the smoke-filled home but was unable to locate the children.

According to a press release sent by the CCSO Friday afternoon, firefighters from the Rossville Fire Department quickly began working the fire and attempting to gain entry into the home. The home became fully engulfed and required the response of mutual aid from surrounding agencies.

Once responders were able to make entry into the home, a 12-year-old juvenile female and a 5-year-old juvenile female were located deceased. Notification has been made to the family by Clinton County Coroner Ed Cripe.

The CCSO reports that this investigation is ongoing, and the names of the victims will be released by the Clinton County Coroner’s Office at a later time. The CCSO has made its chaplains available to the family and all first responders during this difficult time.

“This is one of those incidents as a parent and a first responder, you dread,” Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly said. “We are all praying for the family and offering our support to all responders involved. I am proud of the quick actions of my deputy for selflessly and bravely entering the home to attempt to locate the girls. Our deputy was evaluated on scene for smoke inhalation. We thank our state agencies and those of surrounding counties for coordinating a response effort and giving us support to effectively deal with this event. Our chaplains will remain available to all family members and first responders.”

The Rossville Fire Department and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by Clinton County Central Dispatch, Frankfort Fire Department, Michigantown Volunteer Fire Department, Madison Township Volunteer Fire Department, Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department (Tippecanoe County), Delphi Fire Department, Indiana State Police, Indiana State Fire Marshal, Frankfort Fire Investigations Division, Clinton County EMS, Clinton County Coroner’s Office, Rossville Volunteer Ambulance, Frankfort Police Department, Duke Energy and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Division.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to remind everyone of the importance of working smoke detectors. Be sure to check batteries often and ensure you have an exit plan with your family in the event of a fire. If you are in need of smoke detectors, you can find them free of charge at getalarm.in.gov.