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Five firefighters injured battling vacant house fire ruled an arson

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 09:25:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Five firefighters have been released from a local hospital after they fell through the floor of a vacant house fire they were battling Monday night in Fountain Square.

Indianapolis Fire Department PIO, Rita Reith, said it was after 9:00 p.m. when firefighters were dispatched to the 1700 block of Fletcher Avenue on a report of a residence fire.

When they arrived, firefighters found the vacant home heavily engulfed in flames with the fire spreading to other homes on either side. Both of those homes were occupied and those residents were able to make it out of their homes without injury.

Fire command ordered everyone out of the initial structure, and to take a defensive stance on the fire. But, when firefighters went back inside the home, five of them entered the home from the second floor and immediately fell through the floor. Reith said it was about a 10-foot drop from the second floor to the first.

All five of the firefighters were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital. One remains in serious condition, though Reith says he was alert and oriented when transferred and had non-life threatening injuries.

The four other firefighters who fell through the floor were transported to the hospital as a precaution. Reith said they were all alert, oriented, and sustained no visible or external injuries.

On Tuesday morning, Reith said all of the firefighters had been released from the hospital and thorough testing determined none of the firefighters sustained serious injuries.

Reith said this was the second fire in this vacant structure in just over a month, the first one being July 6. Investigators ruled the fire was arson.

Anyone with information is asked to report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).