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Woman killed in fire that damaged neighboring homes on Indianapolis' east side

Rothe Lane Fire 121019.JPG
Posted at 6:06 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 16:12:15-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A 59-year-old east side Indianapolis woman died in an early-morning fire at her home, near Cumberland Road and East 30th Street.

The Indianapolis Fire Department identified the victim as Marsha Dean Karnafel who lived in the 2600 block of Rothe Lane.

A public information officer for IFD says the cause of the fire may never be known because there was so much damage to the house.

PIO Rita Reith says winds made the fire difficult to battle and caused it to spread to a pair of neighboring homes, which were also damaged.

After extinguishing the fire, crews were able to get inside the home and found Marsha Karnafel, who was already dead. It was unclear why she was not able to escape.

Reith says the victim's husband had spoken to his wife on his way home from work shortly before he got a call that his house was on fire.