Officials on Friday morning said they're having a tough time reaching the landlord who owns a home where three children died in a northwest Indiana house fire.
Following up on allegations made by Hammond city officials, NBC 5 Investigates obtained court records that shows Real Estage Equity Solutions of Indiana, LLC was served with a number of citations beginning in May of last year.
One resulted in a $2,600 fine.
But later court documents show another business, Equity Trust Company, manages the property and was not notified of the violations.
The home on the 600 block of Sibley Boulevard, in Hammond, had no utilities, fire officials and neighbors said. The family resorted to using propane space heaters to keep warm, and it was those space heaters which fire officials suspect ignited clothing and bedding.
"We're pretty close, 90 percent that's what we're looking at, between a couple of space heaters and candles that were in the area of origin," chief fire inspector Michael Opinker said Thursday after crews had finished their work at the home.
Hammond Fire Department officials said they were hoping to go through an attorney to get some answers about the home. It wasn't clear if that attorney represented the homeowner or a management company or if they are one in the same.
Additionally, Opinker said the city has been trying to reach the owner regarding various building code issues since 2012.
Two children and the father of the home, D'Andre Young, survived the fire. The father remained in critical condition Friday
Note: This report was first published Jan. 10, 2014.