Indiana fire fatalities set to surpass last year’s total

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Startling numbers released to FOX59 on Friday show the number of Hoosiers dying in house fires is set to surpass the total for 2017.

This year, 63 people have died in fires across the state. Last year, there were 72 fatalities.

(Update: 48 hours after this story was published, two children died in a house fire without smoke alarms, raising the death toll to 65 fatalities so far in 2018.)

Indiana's State Fire Marshal said cooking, discarded tobacco products, faulty furnaces, and space heaters are the leading causes of home fires.

"It’s really complacency. No one thinks a fire will occur in their home," said Marshal Jim Greeson. "It can happen to anyone at any time."

That's why the State will use more than $500,000 in grant money on smoke alarms and fire prevention programs for families across the state.

And these alarms are just right for people who forget to maintain them.

"The smoke alarms that we purchase should all have the 10 year lithium batteries in. So you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries. You can't take the batteries out, they are sealed," explained Greeson.

If you're interested in getting a free smoke alarm, it must be installed by your local fire department. Contact your local fire department to let them know you would like to be included in the program or contact the State Fire Marshal's office directly at:

Office of the State Fire Marshal
302 W Washington St
IGCS, Rm E241
Indianapolis, IN 46204