3 firefighters, 1 civilian injured after grease fire erupts at north side apartment complex

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Three firefighters and a civilian suffered slight injuries during a fire at a north side apartment complex Thursday afternoon.

The Indianapolis Fire Department was called to the North Willow Apartments and Townhomes at 8724 Pemberton Circle just after 1 p.m.

Crews began an aggressive, offensive attack on arrival and the fire was under control by 2:10 p.m.

A 21-year-old mother, her 2-year-old daughter and 8-month-old son lived in the unit where the fire apparently started, but were able to safely escape. The mother told firefighters she was cooking French fries and walked away from the stove. When she returned, a grease fire had erupted.

“When I looked out the window you could see the fire like spreading so I left my phone,” said Kendale Baker, who lives at the complex, “I left everything and just ran out.” Kendale

The fire quickly spread to upper units and into attic space. Eight units were heavily damaged. Several others suffered smoke and water damage.

An estimated 30 residents will need shelter due to the fire and lack of utilities in the structure.

“It’s real bad in there,” said Baker.

The three injured firefighters and one injured 63-year-old civilian were transported to local hospitals. Officials are unsure if the civilian’s injuries were related to the fire.

Fire officials caution anyone heating grease on the stove to use caution and never leave it unattended.  Always heat grease slowly and keep an extinguishment method such as a lid nearby.  Keep all combustibles such as towels and curtains away from the grease.  In the event of a fire, evacuate immediately and call 911.