INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Twelve people were forced from their homes following an early morning fire.
IFD says the apartment where the fire broke out didn’t have working smoke detectors.
It happened at the Magnolia Apartments on Meridian Street near 34th Street.
“Smoke detectors do assist in saving lives and we want everyone to have a working smoke detector,” said Rita Reith, spokeswoman for IFD. “We can’t express that sentiment enough.”
Reith says the residents are lucky to be alive because some didn’t know of the fire until woken up by firefighters.
“The residents told us last night that there were no working smoking detectors,” said Reith. ” We were curious to know how they were awaken to evacuate the building, and they said they were awaken when firefighters arrived on scene and began to attack the fire and do their preliminary evacuations.”
City ordinances require property owners or managers to provide smoke detectors to each apartment. They aren’t required for common areas, including hallways. IFD says the building passed inspection last year, but they can’t enter individual apartments.
“We take it on good faith that the complex manager is providing the smoke detectors that they say they’re supposed to provide,” said Reith.
Inspectors were at the building Tuesday. The property manager wouldn’t speak with 24-Hour News 8 on camera, but said detectors were in each of the apartments.
IFD says it doesn’t matter if they’re there or not if they’re not maintained. Batteries should be changed twice a year and units checked regularly.
“The maintenance part is the most important part we can put a smoke detector in the residence, but they have to be vigilant,” said Reith.
Under a county ordinance passed in April, homeowners are required to have a 10 year battery-sealed detector.