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South side fire a reminder to check smoke detectors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indianapolis family is lucky to be alive Saturday night after a fire destroyed their home.

It was their neighbor who saw the fire and rushed to save them.

“Whatever you do, you do it fast,” said Joe Ayers, Saturday afternoon. You don’t have time to think, so I just started grabbing kids and brought them over here.”

Ayers’ instincts Saturday morning may have saved five lives. As the house across the street burned to the ground.

“Very scary. They got so many kids in there.” said Ayers

The father of the house was sleeping when the fire broke out.

“A man came, was beating on the door,” said Lawrence Sneed. “We came out, the whole family. When we came outside the whole house was engulfed.”

Sneed and his family are now living in a hotel, the fire near the intersection of East Adler Street & South Talbott Street was so intense it melted the electrical wires, and siding away from the house. It also left the vacant house next door a pile of rubble.

While Ayers may have saved the day, Indianapolis Fire Department officials say it’s a rescue that shouldn’t have to happen.

“We just want people to pay attention, to take it seriously,” said IFD spokeswoman Rita Reith.

Investigators say the home didn’t have working smoke detectors. With Daylight Saving Time coming Sunday morning they say not only to move your clocks forward, but also change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

“Its not something we feel is an option, its something that’s a requirement,” said Reith.

If you don’t have a smoke detector call IFD at 317-327-6093 and they will come to your house to install one.