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86-year-old woman dies in north side house fire, marks 4th fatal fire this year

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An 86-year-old woman died after being pulled from a burning home early Thursday morning.

“The crews fought their way inside of the house despite the heavy fire in the front they made an aggressive search,” said IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, crews were dispatched around 2:20 a.m. to a home in the 3800 block of North Capitol Avenue. Firefighters arrived to find the front part of the two-story home fully engulfed.

A neighbor alerted the crews that someone was still inside the home.

“They pulled her out and she was in critical condition,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

The woman was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition but later succumbed to her injuries. Neighbors tell me they just her yesterday when she walked to an IPS school where she has worked for years.

“She was a lunch lady at IPS School 43. Unless it was bad weather she would go back and forth to work,” said a neighbor.

IFD said this marks the fourth fire fatality of 2018 and the 40th structure fire this month.

A firefighter was injured after twisting a knee during the rescue and was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for examination.

“It is that 50-68-year-old population that really has taken the brunt of the last three years of fatalities,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

To change those numbers, IFD is working to target that age group and refresh them on basic safety tips.

“All of these things are preventable and it is that age group that should be most proficient at keeping those accidental fires from happening,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

Damage was estimated at $80,000 and IFD said the cause remains under investigation.

As crews take a closer look at the house to find the cause of the fire, neighbors say they are mourning a big loss and remembering a person who played a big part in this community for so many years.