Dozens left without homes after pair of fires at northwest side apartment complex


INDIANAPOLIS – Dozens of people are displaced after a pair of fires at an apartment complex on the northwest side.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, crews were called to the Highland Pointe Apartments around 9 p.m. Wednesday. Those are located in the 5400 block of North Michigan Road.

The fire was under control in about an hour, according to IFD.

Crews were called back to the apartment complex around 3 a.m. after a second fire broke out in a different building. That fire was under control in about 30 minutes.

No one was injured in either fire, but IFD said about 70 people were displaced. In total, approximately 56 units were impacted by mostly smoke damage or utility shut offs.

Matilda Presswood, who lives in the first building impacted by a fire, told FOX59 she was preparing food for Thanksgiving when she heard the commotion Wednesday night. “I heard a pop, pow like somebody was shooting in the parking lot or in the hallway. The lights started flickering. I told my daughter, let’s go.”

Presswood said her apartment sustained water damage after crews had to bring a hose through her unit to reach the fire, which IFD said originated in the utility room on the first floor and spread up to the attic.

“Little water damage in my apartment, but I’m cool with that,” she said. “God is still in control. That’s the way I look at it. God is in control.”

Presswood said she is grateful to be safe, along with her neighbors, because it could have been worse. “The neighbors are safe. Everybody got out. We was knocking on doors.”

Though her Thanksgiving plans have changed, Presswood will spend Thanksgiving with her family, something she considers a blessing in light of what could have happened.

“I’m going to eat at my sister’s brother’s house with the rest of my family. We will be doing social distancing, of course, and we are gonna thank god for another day.”

“I’m grateful and I’m thankful to be alive,” she said.

Neighbor Claudia Chaverri lives next door to the building where the second fire broke out.

“It’s a bit of everything around here. You have college students, but it’s just mainly small families so it’s kind of sad to know that a lot of those families have been affected,” said Chaverri.

“It’s very sad. Thoughts and prayers for them,” she said.

The first fire was ruled electrical in nature, and IFD believes the second fire may have been caused by an electrical problem as well.

IFD Victims Assistance is working with the Red Cross Indianapolis and apartment management to find shelter for the affected residents.

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