INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Fire Department says 10 children and 3 adults were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries after a fire broke out at an east side apartment complex.
Wednesday morning, crews were dispatched to Pangea Courts Apartments at 4431 Linwood Ct., which is on the east side of Indy, just south of 10th St.
LISTEN: IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith talks Linwood Ct. fire
IFD says occupants heard smoke alarms, but many didn’t evacuate the building because the alarms go off all the time. By the time they took action, the fire had already spread and smoke had filled multiple units.
“In this particular case they thought it was the same old, same old. A smoke alarm is activating at 9:30 on a Wednesday morning. So, they just didn’t move,” said IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith. “All of the sudden smoke kept filling up the building and then it was heavily charged with smoke and when they finally decided to take action and evacuate, they were faced with heavy, heavy smoke conditions and a large volume of fire on the first floor.”
While fighting the fire, crews said several of the complex’s units didn’t have working smoke alarms. Firefighters found them removed from the ceiling.
Occupants inside the building said the smoke was so heavy, they couldn’t see. One woman told firefights that the smoke was so bad she had to drag her children down the hallway to get them out.
Reith said you should never ignore a smoke alarm.
“We get it. Smoke alarms go off when people burn food or whatever. But, you don’t want to become some immune to the sound that you don’t take any action.”
IFD says the fire started in an apartment on the building’s first floor. Overall the building has 12 unites – 11 of which are occupied. All 12 units were affected by the fire.
IFD is still investigating what caused the fire.