IFD battles fires across city; 2 dogs saved, $600K in damages

(Provided Photo/IFD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Saturday was a busy and hard day for Indianapolis firefighters.

Starting early Saturday morning, they’ve been dealing with several house fires across the city.

In all, the fires displaced 25 people, and two dogs died.

Several firefighters were also hospitalized from the heat.

24-Hour News 8 found out the surprising amount of damage done from these fires.

More than $600,000 in damage was caused on Saturday from the four residence fires, most of that from the Nora Pines apartment fire, which damaged eight apartment units.

That was caused by a man falling asleep while chicken was frying on the stove.

All the other fires are still under investigation — including one ruled arson by authorities — but we learned just how difficult a day it was for the firefighters — and for these homeowners.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, firefighters had battled flames in four Indianapolis homes.

Soon after, three homes and eight apartments were charred, melting or destroyed.

“They’re exhausted and the day isn’t even half over, so it’s been a pretty busy day for firefighters,” said Media Relations Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

In fact, three of the fires were within five miles of each other, meaning  many of the same firefighters responded — wearing 75 pounds of gear on a humid Saturday.

“The amount of effort it takes to expend for the work you’re doing with the heat and humidity, it’s just exacerbated with all the gear, and it really takes a toll on the crews,” said Reith.

Four firefighters from IFD ended up in the hospital because of the heat.

Many witnesses 24-Hour News 8 spoke with on Saturday were singing their praises for their hard work.

In a fire at 49 North Sherman, firefighters performed CPR, saving two dogs.

“It is unbelievable. It’s amazing; they do great work. And I’d like to thank them for that. If it wasn’t for them, they wouldn’t have those two dogs left, said Traci Wagner, a friend of the 49 N. Sherman Avenue fire victims.

Those homeowners were thankful for the firefighters, but their battle’s just beginning.

Their other two dogs died in the fire.

And the two still living suffered from severe burns and smoke inhalation.

They need urgent care, but the family cannot afford it.

“I have $190 that I’m going to give them towards the vet care, and that’s all I can do,” said Wagner.

The family who lost two dogs was too distraught to talk on camera, but if you’d like to help them, you can call Traci Wagner at 317-728-1121.

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