Arson being investigated, one dead after east side duplex fire

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Firefighters were called to the near east side of Indianapolis early Thursday morning to battle a fire at a home that has left one man dead.

Indianapolis Fire Department investigators, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigators and the IMPD’s homicide unit is investigating the fire as an arson.

It started shortly before 3:30 a.m. in the 3600 block of East New York Street. The home is a duplex.

24-Hour News 8 spoke to a couple at the scene who lives in one side of the home. The fire started on the other side of the duplex. They said their neighbor was hurt in the fire. The man was transported to a local hospital and was in extremely critical condition.

That man has been identified as 44-year-old Ralph Chew. The Marion County Coroner’s Office has confirmed that he has since died.

One of the couple’s neighbors woke them up by pounding on the door. They were able to get out OK and said it appears their side of the duplex only suffered smoke damage. They said they had only lived in the home for two nights and added they thought there were working smoke detectors in the home, but they didn’t go off.

It’s unclear what caused the fire.

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