Woman jumps from second story to escape Indianapolis apartment fire; three firefighters burned

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 13, 2015) – A woman jumped from a second story apartment window and three firefighters were burned in an apartment fire on the south side of Indianapolis.

IFD was called to the Laurel Lake Apartments in the 8700 block of South Keystone Avenue around 2:47 p.m. on a report of heavy fire and black smoke showing from the second floor.

Siara Ward, 18, told firefighters that she was home asleep in her upstairs apartment when she awoke to the sound of breaking glass and heavy smoke.

Ward was unable to escape, so she jumped from her second story window – sustaining only slight bumps and bruises.

She was checked out at the scene and released.

Firefighters from Ladder 35 initiated a primary search and heard yelling coming from the apartment across the hall from the fire apartment.

The woman, Sharon Bowen, 54, was unable to evacuate and yelled for help.

The fire intensity grew rapidly and heavy black smoke filled the common open stairwell between the two upstairs apartments.

Making entry into Apartment #2, firefighters grabbed Bowen and started back downstairs.

Shielding her face with their bodies they made their way across the landing and headed down the stairs.

It was then that the fire flashed and enveloped the upstairs landing from front to back.

In the process the two firefighters sustained steam burn injuries to their neck, shoulders and hands due to the intense heat.

The woman remained shielded by the firefighters and was unharmed.

A third firefighter was headed up the stairs with the attack line at the time of the flashover.

He sustained steam burn injuries to his neck and shoulders as well.

Attack crews were able to mark the fire under control within 10 minutes.

Four units were damaged by fire, smoke, or water, and eight residents were displaced.

Additionally, two dogs and a cat died in the fire.

IFD says there were no working smoke detectors.

At this point in time, it is unclear what started the fire.

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