Indianapolis firefighters to Hoosiers: Please stay off the street

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INDIANAPOLIS — As we get into storm season and lightning becomes a bigger danger, the Indianapolis Fire Department says it needs residents to stay out of firefighters’ way.

On Mother’s Day, a fire on the east side proved difficult for fire crews. When they got to the neighborhood, there were so many cars parked on both sides of the streets that they couldn’t get through.

“We had a ladder crew, which is our primary search and rescue operation, parked almost a block away, carrying their equipment up,” Capt. Rita Reith said.

The family in that case ended up getting out alright, but it shed light on a problem that’s been plaguing fire crews.

“If you have a driveway, please use it,” Reith said.

In fact, in that neighborhood, there are signs telling residents not to park on one side of the street. We saw plenty of cars parked there anyway, continuing to block roads if another house caught fire.

Jennifer Courtney, who lives across the street, also noticed a lot neighbors drive up to the scene and make it even worse.

“You could see the smoke, so people were coming from all over the neighborhood,” Courtney said.

So think about this: what if it were your house? Could firefighters get their trucks to you?

Reith said that if at all possible, you should park in a driveway–especially at night. She also said that if it’s a problem in your community, you should get involved in your neighborhood association or talk to neighbors and create a new policy.

“Every single second counts. We don’t want a three- to four-minute response to become a five- to six-minute response,” Reith said.

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