Info and photos by Rita Reith
Two firefighters were injured, one seriously, in a house fire early Tuesday in Beech Grove, Indiana.
Crews were originally dispatched at 6:05 a.m. to 95 S 4th Avenue for a working apartment fire with possible entrapment. Companies found heavy fire showing at the scene of a two-story building. Twenty-five Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) units were dispatched along with six Beech Grove units.
At around 7:30 a.m. during operations on the exterior of the home, an IFD firefighter fell off the the porch roof. Immediate care was established to the injured firefighter, who was transported to Methodist Hospital in serious condition. He remains in serious but stable condition as of this writing.
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At around the same time on the interior of the structure, a collapse was reported with another IFD firefighter having fallen from the second-floor into the basement. A Mayday was declared on the fireground, with the firefighter quickly being brought out. The member was checked on scene and released with minor scrapes.
The home had been divided into five apartment units, with a total of eight occupants. Occupants of the basement apartment told firefighters that they woke up to fire and smoke in their apartment; they tried to extinguish it, were unsuccessful, and fled. Occupants of upstairs apartments stated that they heard the activated smoke alarms, saw smoke, and escaped. One dog is unaccounted for.
RITA L. REITH is a battalion chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and serves as the agency’s public information officer.