Fatal Zionsville fire under investigation after woman's body found

Sep. 19—Authorities have not yet identified the woman whose body was found in a rural Zionsville home after it caught fire Thursday.

The property at 8480 E. County Road 100 S. is owned by Robin I. Raub, who is married to Carol Ann Raub. Carol Ann Raub has not been seen since the fire, authorities confirmed Friday.

Boone County Coroner Justin Sparks said his office would perform an autopsy Friday. Sparks declined to identify the woman pending a complete autopsy report.

A woman called 911 at about 9:20 a.m. Thursday, saying a heater started a fire, according to Boone County Communications Center records. She said the house was smoky, according to police radio traffic.

Fire crews found flames coming from multiple areas of the secluded home and entered through windows and doors to search for anyone who may be inside, according to a Zionsville Fire Department news release.

"Conditions in the structure quickly worsened, and crews exited the residence and transitioned to a defensive operation," the statement said. Firefighters got the blaze under control in about 90 minutes, despite a lack of fire hydrants, and reported it was completely out just before 1 p.m.

The coroner's office removed a body from the home that evening.


A dispatcher said the 911 caller sounded confused and at first gave an incorrect address four miles to the south, according to police radio traffic. Authorities were soon able to supply the correct address while most emergency vehicles were still en route and were able to redirect them.

A woman who lived at the first address given called the communications center later to ask why police rushed to her home and ran around her yard before racing off again.

When they reached the correct home, police and firefighters encountered more obstacles. Only the address numerals on the mailbox indicated there was a house tucked away beyond a pond and at the end of a long lane, one deputy said.

Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Corbin Noble and a Whitestown police officer were the first to reach the rural property and encountered a hydraulic gate blocking the lane. Noble threw his body at the gate, pulling and pushing until it broke and gave way.

Trees had grown and formed a picturesque, low-hanging tunnel over the lane. The first firetruck to enter broke and pushed branches ahead of it to reach the house, which was partly veiled with vegetation. And firefighters attacked the trees with chainsaws to ease entry for more emergency vehicles and crews, Boone County Deputy and Public Information Officer Wesley Garst said.

Still, the fire transferred and burned nearby vehicles and trees, causing crackling that could be heard from neighboring homes and a plume of smoke that was visible for miles.

Water was in short supply at first. But firefighters drew some from the pond, Garst said. And tanker trucks hauled in water from Sheridan, Lebanon, Lizton, Center Township, Whitestown, Perry Township, Pittsboro, Advance, Union Township and Carmel fire departments and lined up along the gravel road to take their turns supplying a large hose dragged from the road to the house to supply the trucks that could get closer.

The Boone County Coroner, Indiana State Fire Marshall, Zionsville Fire Department and Boone County Sheriff's Office are investigating the fire and death.

Authorities did not suspect foul play as of Friday, Boone County Sheriff's Cpt. Jason Reynolds said.