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Indianapolis Firefighters, Police Rescue Man from Burning Home

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire where a man with a knife had barricaded himself in.

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Firefighters and police in Indianapolis worked together to help remove a man from a burning home Monday.

According to a report from the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), firefighters were dispatched to assist with a house fire when they notified by Indianapolis police units on scene that a man was inside the structure and attempting to light it on fire.  Crews responded and mitigated the situation from the exterior as it unfolded–without the ability to enter the structure.

It was only after the man was apprehended by police that firefighters were able to enter and extinguish the fire. The house sustained significant damage.

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According to a report from the Indianapolis Police Department, officers were sent to the 3500 blk. of Layman Avenue on report of a call for help. When officers arrived, they found a 25-year-old male in the driveway of a residence sitting in a lawn chair holding a large butcher knife. Officers cautiously approached the subject in hopes of getting him to put the weapon down. The man refused and instead retreated into the residence.

The subject’s girlfriend had already exited the residence by the time the subject had entered back into the residence. The subject was seen by officers through the front window acting very bizarre and holding the knife. Officers also observed the subject cut the cord of a lamp inside the house. As officers attempting to coax the subject out of the house, they observed smoke coming from the rear of the residence. The subject then retreated to an upstairs bathroom where officers could clearly see him holding the knife. It was at this point that officers summoned IFD units as well as the SWAT.

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The subject stayed in the residence for a large majority of time as the fire was clearly seen protruding from the rear roof of the house. Firefighters attempted to provide an exit for the subject by placing a ladder near the window; however the subject refused the help and kicked the ladder away on several occasions. Firefighters and SWAT operators could not get close to the subject because of the real threat of the knife. The subject finally climbed out of the window onto the roof of the front porch. 

Crisis negotiators attempted to negotiate with the subject on the front porch; however the subject continued to display bizarre behavior while on the roof at one point started to dance.  As the fire continued to burn out of control the real threat to the safety of the subject became a real concern. A decision was made to deploy two separate less-lethal devices in order to save the subject’s life. That decision likely saved his life, as both devices were successful in temporarily incapacitating the subject, allowing officers to take him into custody and medical staff to render aid without the fire or the smoke injuring him. Thankfully no officers, firefighters or civilians were injured.