Oldest of Six Killed in Fire Tried to Save Siblings

(VEVAY) — The oldest of six siblings killed in a rural house fire in southern Indiana died trying to save the others, the family said.

Paige Ridener, 25, had moved back home to the Ohio River town of Vevay two weeks ago to help care for her siblings and “heroically passed away in one final act of selflessness, by bravely attempting to save those she loved,” the Ridener family said in a statement released Monday.

The others killed in the fire early Saturday were 15-year-old James Ridener, 13-year-old Jordan Ridener, 11-year-old Joshua Ridener, 11-year-old Emilee Ridener, and 10-year-old Elizabeth Ridener.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, state police say. No foul play is suspected.

Paige’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Joseph Buchheit, escaped the fire unhurt and attempted to re-enter the home to get to the others “but was unable to due to the heavy fire and smoke,” police said.

Each of the victims had been adopted, and the five youngest were natural siblings who joined the family out of foster care in two steps in 2010 and 2011, the family statement said.