UPDATE: Two confirmed dead in Kosciusko County business fire - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Two confirmed dead in Kosciusko County business fire

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The Kosciusko County Coroner's office confirms with FOX28 that two people have died in a fire that broke out at a body shop in Milford Thursday morning. 

There is no word on a cause of the fire that broke out at Medina's Body Repair on the 300 block of N. Higbee St. a little after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday. Passerby noticed the blaze and called 911 at 7:18 a.m. Five different departments responded and had the fire under control in an hour but extreme heat made entry impossible early on. 

"The fire had advanced to the point that it wasn't safe for firefighters to get a total interior attack for search and rescue," Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson said. The fire was extinguished at 11:00 a.m. and two bodies were then found inside the building.

The cause of death for the two people killed in the fire has not been determined at this time. The cause of the fire was also in question. Milford Town Marshal Richard Miotto acknowledges that there are flammable materials in the building such as lacquer thinner.

"I've been in there numerous times and they kept everything properly stored to my knowledge and everything where it should be," Miotto said.

Wilson says the bodies were also too badly burned to be identified. An autopsy will be done to determine the identity and gender of the bodies but results might not be available for six weeks.  Though the identities are not being released, the coroner did tell us the two people were not employees at the shop.

SR 15 was closed for over five hours while crews worked on the fire, but was reopened at 12:45 p.m.

Wilson stressed says an event like this shows the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. "It's a very inexpensive way to be alerted in the event that you have a fire ongoing or starting," Wilson said.

Milford has a population over 1,500 people. Given the size of the town, there were similar reactions from people near the scene.

"It affects everyone. Speaking for my own town, which is Syracuse, I think everybody pulls together," American Red Cross Volunteer Sherry Lantz said. "We're all so close, a close community, and so I think everyone tries to help out as best as they can," Milford resident Jasmine Davidsen said.

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