‘Unprecedented’ number of fires sparks IFD to issue warning

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis firefighter is recovering after battling a fire on the city’s near north side.

Medics took the firefighter to the hospital with a slight injury.

The fire happened late Tuesday night at a home on Eugene Street near the intersection of 30th Street and MLK Jr. Street.

Damage is estimated at $145,000.

The cause is still under investigation.

The Indianapolis Fire Department says there have been an “unprecedented” number of fires this month, including three fires within the last 24 hours.

“You could feel the heat from the front door, you could feel the heat from all the way over here,” said Rebecca Rodriguez, who lives across the street from a house that caught fire Tuesday on North Drexel Avenue. “The front porch was completely engulfed and that fire was around the sides.”

A man was inside the home when firefighters were called. A neighbor banged on the door notifying him, and he was able to get out safely.

But IFD says eight people have died in fires this year, four of them this month.

They say most of them could’ve been prevented.

“Accidents do happen, we get that. But what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to have everybody stop and think for a minute,” said Rita Reith, the public information officer for the Indianapolis Fire Department.

IFD responded to fires caused by hot grease on a stove, overloaded extension cords, people smoking in bed and using kitchen appliances to heat the house.

“You get a comfort level and people think this will never happen to me, but it does,” said Reith.

“We’re not here to place blame, but we are here to say we need to be proactive as a community, and we need everybody to start watching out for each other,” said Reith.

Reith says to speak up if you see a neighbor improperly heating their home. She says many fires impact more than just where it occurred

“It really does affect a broader group of people than just what’s going on in your home,” said Reith.

IFD says what’s really unusual about this rash of fires is that many of the homes were occupied.

They say the number one thing you can have to keep you and your family safe is a working smoke detector.

Never miss another Facebook post from WISH-TV