Man alerted by dog, jumps from burning home

(WISH Photo/Kevin Ratermann)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A man whose home was destroyed by fire early Tuesday credits his dog for saving his life.

The Indianapolis Fire Department was called at 12:30 a.m. to the 1600 block of Tacoma Avenue on the east side of Indianapolis. When they arrived, firefighters found heavy fire coming from a two-story duplex.

Everyone affected escaped their homes without injury but the fire spread, ultimately displacing eight people from three different residences.

The person who lived in the half of the duplex where IFD said the fire first sparked said he woke up to his dog barking and jumped from a second story window to safety.

“I was in the front bedroom, open up the door and smoke and fire was coming down the hallway,” Johnny Walker said. “If it wasn’t for my dog, I’d been done.”

IFD said Walker alerted other residents at risk.

“The neighbors on either side of him did hear screaming, he was yelling that the house was on fire and for others to evacuate. They were able to get out of their houses as well,” IFD spokesperson Rita Reith said.

IFD determined that combustibles too close to space heaters in the home were the source of the fire.

Walker’s dog died in the fire, Reith said. Four other dogs from a separate home that were originally unaccounted for were found to have survived. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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