INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 4, 2016) – An Indianapolis father-to-be dies when his home goes up in flames overnight.
The victim’s pregnant wife just barely escaped the fire.
Fire crews say despite the best efforts of his pregnant wife, no one could save the victim’s life.
Firefighters responded to a call for help just after 3:30 a.m. in the 5000 block of Alameda Rd. When they arrived on scene, they found the home fully engulfed in flames.
Fire fighters worked quickly to put the fire out but the scene still proved deadly.
“I`m just shocked, totally and positively shocked, because that`s a good man that`s leaving this neighborhood,” said neighbor Tanya Flemming.
The victim is Steven Zuhlke.
His neighbors say Zuhlke ran a small computer business and are stunned by the death.
“Ican`t even imagine that he didn`t get out. It`s just a devastating for me right now,” said Flemming.
Fire crews say Zuhlke`s wife, who is 37 weeks pregnant, awoke to find the home fully engulfed and climbed out a bedroom window.
“She crawled out that window and knew her husband was still inside but couldn`t get to him because he was in the living room,” said Pike Township Fire Department deputy chief Chris Bachman.
Bachman says the wife tried to break back door, but couldn`t rescue her husband.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We have determined that an area of origin is the kitchen, but can`t rule out appliances so it’s going to remain under investigation,” said Bachman.
Bachman says the wife didn`t recall hearing smoke alarms going off and only awoke to the sound of the home burning.
“She did recall having smoke detectors in the house, but that`s not what she remembers waking up to. It was cracking and popping of the fire,” said Bachman.
While crews eventually boarded up and secured the home, several friends and family, including the pregnant wife, were overcome with grief and sadness.
“I`m feeling like I can`t believe this, because this man was a very, very good man in the neighborhood,” said Flemming. “He definitely is gonna be missed and my heart goes out to his family.”
Fire crews say this is a great reminder to check your smoke alarms and make sure they have working batteries.
That could save your family’s life.