INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With her apartment filling with smoke and no clear path to the front door, an Indianapolis mother made a split-second decision to try to save her three young children and escape her burning apartment building, Saturday.
Around 7:15 p.m., Pike Township firefighters got the call to a large fire at the La Joya Apartments in the 4500 block of Candletree Circle on the city’s northwest side.
The mother had been giving her three children, ages 3-years, 5-years and 9 months-old, a bath when she smelled smoke. Unable to escape, she grabbed her children, fled to the balcony and began screaming for help.
A neighbor heard the cries and arrived in time to catch each of the children as their mother dropped them off the balcony.
The mother then jumped to safety. She was later taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Pike Township firefighters arrived within four minutes of the initial call. Fire crews fpund heavy smoke coming from the back of the apartment building.
Fire crews had to go to a defensive mode as the fire grew and firefighters discovered the apartment complex water supply could not support the number of fire trucks pouring water onto the fire.
The fire went to a second alarm and fire crews from Indianapolis fire department brought additional fire trucks and firefighters to assist in bringing the fire under control
Firefighters were able to re-enter the burning apartments and searched for anyone still trapped inside. No other persons were found.
One firefighter was slightly injured and was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
Fire officials say they know the unit where the fire started but investigators are on the scene trying to determine what caused the fire.
The roof to three of the apartments collapsed in the fire. The whole building has been declared uninhabitable for now due to fire, smoke, and water damage.
Sixteen families have been displaced. Red Cross volunteers arrived on the scene to offer victim’s assistance and arrange a place for fire victims to stay for the night.