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INDIANAPOLIS–Five firefighters from the Indianapolis Fire Department fell through the floor of a vacant house that was on fire in Fountain Square on the east side of Indianapolis Monday night.

All five of them were taken to hospitals to be treated for injuries.

“Four of them were taken as a precaution, simply because they fell ten feet. When they fell, they all landed on top of each other. Only one of the five had anything bordering on the side of serious. He has been released too,” said Rita Reith, battalion chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department. “They entered the structure through the front window on the second floor. When they entered that window, they stepped into the main room on the second floor and within seconds the floor just gave way and all five of them fell to the first floor.” 

The cause of the fire has been ruled arson, which is a crime of willfully and maliciously setting fire to or charring property.

“Given that we had another fire in that structure less than 45 days ago, they’ll probably start to look at squatters or people who weren’t supposed to be in that structure,” said Reith.

Just after 9 pm Monday, IFD was called to the home on Fletcher Avenue, which is near South State Avenue. Reith says the quick action of the firefighters helped limit the damage from spreading to other nearby homes.

“There was a house on either side of that vacant house that caught fire. One house did not have anybody displaced and no damage to it. The other one had some damage to the exterior where the lines come into the house. They were displaced because the utilities had to be shut off and they were going to need the electrician to come out and fix that,” said Reith.

The Red Cross is helping the family that is dealing with the utility disruption.

LISTEN: Full Interview Rita Reith