Passerby, neighbor rescue woman from house fire on Indy’s near southwest side

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Fire Department says the quick work of a passerby and a neighbor helped save a 92-year-old woman’s life Saturday afternoon.

The department said the fire happened in the 1700 block of West Minnesota Street just before 1:30 Saturday. A woman was inside the house at the time of the fire.

Alex Kline (left) and Richard Loredo (right) (Photo//Indianapolis Fire Department

Richard Loredo told firefighters that he was heading to a job site when he noticed smoke coming from the home.

“As I’m turning into the shop, I see smoke coming out of the house across the street from the shop, and it didn’t look like regular smoke,” he said.

Loredo said he parked his truck and ran across the street to the home to see if anyone was inside.

“The whole neighborhood is quiet, nobody comes out yet so I start banging on the door harder because I see more smoke coming out.”

He said neighbor Alex Kline ran over, quickly realizing what was going on and not wasting any time before jumping into action.

He said they hopped the fence and ran to the back of the home.

“That lady’s strong! She kicked the door, and the door flew wide open! She’s a skinny little thing,” said Loredo.

The department said Kline was met by heavy smoke and high heat, but stayed low to the ground and made her way to the sound of the woman’s voice calling for help.

Loredo said, “She just went in there. I see the whole ceiling on fire, all the smoke was trapped inside the house, so all the smoke was building up, so I was like, ‘Don’t go too fast, don’t go far.’”

He said he didn’t want to lose track of Kline or the door because he did not know the layout of the house.

IFD said Kline grabbed the woman and pulled her to the rear door where Richard met them and carried the woman to a nearby car.

Loredo described the harrowing moments. He said, “It was all fire and smoke around her. It was kind of scary at first, and then when we got all done we didn’t think about it.”

When asked if Loredo felt like a hero, he said no, Kline was the real hero in this situation.

“The other girl, she’s the hero. She’s braver than I. I just followed her so something falls on her I could drag her out, and then we found the lady, and we took her out.

“She just darted in there with flames everywhere.”

The 92-year-old woman suffered minor visible injuries and possible smoke inhalation. She was transported to a local hospital. Her family said she was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday night and praised the heroes that sprang into action.

“We was in there for a little bit, and we couldn’t breathe. If we would’ve stayed longer there it would’ve been a different story, but we found her quick. She was in there for a while, so I’m surprised she’s okay,” said Loredo.

The department says the magnitude of the heroic actions that Kline took Saturday have not quite sunk in. Kline stated she was very pleased that both she and Richard played a role in saving this woman’s life and felt blessed she was in the right place at the right time. Firefighters on scene encouraged her to apply for the next IFD Recruit Class.

“We’re hiring if you need a job—that’s what they said. They told her to go apply,” said Loredo.

The fire was brought under control by fire crews within 15 minutes of arrival. The fire remains under investigation as of the time of this report.

“That lady just got an extension on life pretty much,” said Loredo. “I’d say that’s pretty good. If god gives her another two-three years, that’s awesome, because it could’ve been today.”

CBS4 spoke with Kline, who did not want to go on camera. She said she is thankful her neighbor made it out safely and her cat escaped the fire as well.

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