Richmond apartment fire leaves 2 dead, 6 hospitalized

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — Two people are dead and two medics and four other people were taken to a hospital after a high-rise apartment fire Monday afternoon, the city’s fire chief said. 

The fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. at Interfaith Apartments, a six-story, 120-apartment complex at 34 N.W. Fifth St. That’s a few blocks north of Earlham College. 

A Reid Health hospital spokesman said the emergency room received six patients from the fire. She could provide any information on their conditions or injuries. 

Fire Chief Jerry Purcell said two of those at Reid were Richmond medics who were being checked for smoke inhalation. Purcell said the other four people had injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Purcell said more information about the fire and its fatalities would be released by his department and the state fire marshal on Tuesday. 

Purcell said the fire damage was isolated to a fifth-floor apartment. No one was in that apartment when the fire broke out. 

Smoke damage filled the two top floors of the complex, which was built in the 1970s, Purcell said. Residents of those two floors were evacuated and cannot return for an uncertain amount of time. He said the American Red Cross had opened a shelter for 35 residents of the apartment complex on Monday night. 

Residents of the first through fourth floors will be allowed to return to their apartments, the fire chief said. Richmond is a city of 35,000 about 60 miles east of Indianapolis.