Person killed, several injured in large apartment fire
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis firefighters are still working to figure out what caused a deadly apartment fire at The Highland Pointe Apartments on Monday.
It happened about 4:45 a.m. in the 5500 block of Michigan Road. That’s in an area with churches, a Walmart and other apartment complexes that’s southeast of the intersection at Kessler Boulevard West Drive.
Twenty Indianapolis Fire Department units and nine Pike Township Fire Department units were dispatched to the three-story apartment building fire with reports of entrapment.
Investigators believe the fire began on the first level of the building and quickly traveled to the second and third levels, filling the apartments with heavy smoke. The smoke and fire blocked many exits for apartment occupants, forcing them to take shelter or escape from upper-level balconies.
Firefighters rescued dozens of people from their balconies and also retrieved several cats from the building that were reunited with their owners.
Investigators say that a female was found dead inside the building, but her identity has been released yet.
In total, four kids and an adult were seriously injured. Two Pike Township firefighters were also injured and taken to area hospitals after parts of the ceiling fell on them during their investigation.
Two occupants of the building, Teddy Lupenski and his girlfriend, were sleeping when they woke to the nightmare of the fire.
“We tried to go out the front door, but there was nothing we could do. So, we grabbed what we could and waited on the balcony for about 45 minutes until the fire department came and took us down. A mother on the third floor was screaming about her son and we were just there waiting. You couldn’t tell if the fire was coming towards us, but we were ready to jump,” Lupenski said.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined by investigators and no further information has been released at this time.