INDIANAPOLIS — People in the 400 block of South Oakland Avenue huddled in the cold Thursday, saddened by the scene in front of them.
A mother and her preschool-aged daughter were killed in a house fire. Their two family dogs also died.
“I mean what can you say? What can you really say about something like that? I hope I never see it again,” said neighbor Qatadah Nasahj. “I don’t have the words. Something like this, you hope you never see it your entire life. It makes you wish you knew them a little bit better. I’m shocked.”
The 911 call came in at 10:27 a.m. from frantic neighbors. They saw smoke and knew the mother and daughter were likely inside. The father was working and the two older children were in school.
“We got a call from our neighbor who was watching our son and she said there was a lot of smoke next door,” said neighbor Britney Contreras. “We rushed home. There was a lot of smoke.”
“They got here quick,” said Indianapolis Fire Department Spokersperson Bonnie Hensley. “They went in looking for victims and they found them. They got them out quick. They did the best they could for the people who were trapped inside.”
The mother was taken to Eskenazi Hospital. The daughter was taken to Riley Children’s Hospital. They were both pronounced dead shortly after they arrived.
Fire investigators don’t yet know the cause, but do know the mother was not alerted by a smoke alarm, even though they had a working detector.
“We know that there was a smoke detector that could have awakened the mother and it had been disabled,” said Hensley.
IFD would like to remind you that smoke detectors should be located on every living level of your home and should be tested periodically.