Fatal fire on near east side being investigated as arson

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INDIANAPOLIS (October 22, 2015) – One person died after an early morning fire on the city’s near east side. The fire is now being investigated as arson by Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) investigators and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) homicide detectives.

Crews responded to a call about a fire around 3:20 a.m. Thursday in the 3600 block of East New York Street.

When crews arrived on scene, they say there was heavy fire showing from the front of the duplex.

Firefighters initially thought everyone was out of the residence, but one person was trapped inside. Fire department officials said that individual was located in the front of the residence and was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition. The man eventually died from his injuries, according to the Marion County Coroner's Office.

The victim was identified as Ralph Chew, 44.

Fire officials say the double residence was home to six people – one couple lived on the east side and three men and one woman lived on the west side. Only two of the men were home on the west side  of the duplex at the time of the fire. Three people were displaced as a result of the fire.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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