INDIANAPOLIS — One woman died in an apartment fire on the northwest side of Indianapolis early Monday morning.

Fire crews were dispatched to the Highland Pointe Apartments on Michigan Road around 4:45 a.m.

First responders reported a heavy fire was already showing by the time they arrived at the three-story building.

An adult female died, and nine people, including five children, were taken to the hospital. Five of the injuries are considered serious (four children, one adult). We’re told 30 people were rescued altogether and 44 units are affected.

According to IFD, some people were jumping off second and third-floor balconies when they arrived.

Brittany Payne was one of those residents. “I woke up to the fire alarm in the hallway going off. I can tell that it wasn’t in my apartment. So I got up, and I looked out the peephole and it was just a wall of orange.”

Payne continued, “There were a bunch of people on the balconies. We had to get down the ladders off our balconies.”

“This building won’t be able to be occupied this morning until at least investigators get done with it so, I don’t know if anyone will be going back in this morning,” said IFD’s Rita Reith.

At 3:45 p.m. Monday, IFD said fire crews and IMPD fire investigators are still searching for the fire’s exact cause. Investigators, IFD said, believe the fire started somewhere on the first floor and quickly traveled to the second and third floors, filling the entire building with black smoke.

Investigators also said that all 44 units were damaged by fire and smoke. Several cats from the building were rescued by crews, IFD said, and all are okay.