Protecting yourself, know how to escape in case of a fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — The deadly fire in Nineveh Friday night, as well as a string of others in central Indiana, brings home the point of knowing how to escape a fire. The devastating blaze in Nineveh killed two infants and sent their mother to the hospital. Now, the family says her other daughter survived because she knew what to do.

“Please teach your kids what to do in the event of a fire,” said David Dodson, brother-in-law of mother Sirena Slusher-Abbott.

That’s a message that resonates with anyone, but it’s even more powerful coming from a family stricken with grief. It’s a message that proved itself in the small community of Nineveh on Friday evening when five-year-old Alexandria Slusher-Abbott put her fire safety knowledge to use.

“That’s what saved her. She knew what to do, she was able to get out of the house. The other two were too young to know what to do, but still, it’s very important,” Dodson said.

The fire tore through her apartment on County Road 775. Ally, and her mother Sirena, got out. But Sirena tried to go back in to save her six-month-old son John Ryan and 18-month-old daughter Haley. The fire was too much for her, and her two little children died. A vivid reminder to be prepared should your home catch fire.

“Talk about the escape plan with everyone you live with, elderly and small children need someone assigned to them to make sure they get out,” said Bonnie Hensley, Lietuenant, Indianapolis Fire Department.

As FOX 59 News talked to Lt. Hensley, crews got a call for a blaze on Indy’s west side. Nobody was home at the time, but the same message applies.

“Get out, have a place to meet, they could have easily met on their neighbors porch. Don’t go back in for anything, get out and call 911,” Lt. Hensley said.

“It just needs to be talked about, it needs to be practiced,” said Jesse Frick, brother-in-law of mother Sirena Slusher-Abbott.

Other ways to protect yourself include having smoke detectors in your home. Fire officials say they should be on every floor where people congregate. Also, in those smoke detectors, fire officials say you should test the batteries at least twice a year to make sure they are in good working order.

Donations for the Slusher-Abbott family can be made to The Crossing Church in Nineveh, that’s where the family attends. Clothing and monetary donations are what church officials are hoping to collect. For more information on that, you can contact the church at (317) 933-3400.