FRANKLIN, Ind. — At approximately 11:51 p.m. Monday, a building fire was reported at a unit in Franklin Cove Apartments.
According to a Franklin police report, a neighbor reported that curtains in the apartment were on fire and smoke was coming from under the door.
Officer Corey Hamilton was only a few blocks away when the call came in and was the first to arrive on scene. Upon arrival, he spoke with the neighbor and found out a man was still inside the apartment.
There was added danger to entering due to the man being on oxygen which is highly flammable.
Officer Hamilton tried to knock on the apartment door and received no answer. He ran to the patio door and again received no answer. He then kicked the door until it opened.
At the same time, Officer Kirby Cochran, Jr. arrived at the scene and the two went inside together to find the man.
As they entered the apartment, a wave of heat and heavy black smoke emanated from the door. The officers found a couch on fire and extinguished it.
When the smoke cleared, officers found the man lying on the floor in front of the couch with apparent burn injuries. According to the police report, the man’s body was stiff. Officer Hamilton flipped him onto his back and received gasp. He did not observe the man breathing and began CPR. After a few compressions, he began taking more “labored breaths”.
Officer Hamilton observed burn marks on the man’s hands, arms, and face area. He also saw that the man had a black liquid type substance around the bottom of his nose. The man periodically moved his arms, but never spoke to the officers.
The officers then grabbed him by the legs and pulled him from the apartment.
The man was then checked on scene and transported to Eskenazi Hospital. His injuries were still being assessed Tuesday morning, according to Matt Culp, Franklin fire chief.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the man had already been rescued so they went inside to rescue his dogs and finish extinguishing the fire, which only took a few minutes. Culp said the fire was contained to the living room and did not spread to other apartment units.
The fire appeared accidental but is still under investigation by the Franklin Fire Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal because it involved a personal injury.