Indy family loses everything in double house fire sparked by space heater

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INDIANAPOLIS — A double residence fire on Indy’s near northwest side claimed the life of one animal and caused one family to lose everything.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched to 1005 W. 32nd Street on multiple calls of smoke being seen from miles away.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find not one, but two homes engulfed in heavy fire.

The fire department stated all occupants managed to escape one of the homes, while the occupants of the second home were not home at the time of the fire.

One firefighter suffered a slight injury while fighting the fire, which was marked as under control nearly 3 hours after the first firefighters arrived on scene.

During the fire, the fire department said live ammunition kept within one of the homes began going off.

The animal found perished in one of the homes is believed to be a stray, the fire department said, as the occupants of the home were unaware of the animal.

According to the fire department, Steve Howard, 68, and his 69-year-old sister were the residents of 1005 W. 32nd Street. The home was completely lost as a result of the blaze which investigators believe began due to a space heater being too close to combustible materials.

Howard, a Vietnam veteran, told firefighters his dog alerted him of the fire which allowed them all to safely evacuate the home.

Unfortunately, Howard told the fire department his home insurance had recently lapsed due to having to choose whether to make payments on his medical bills or his insurance. Howard and his sister have now lost everything as a result.

Anyone wishing to assist Howard can reach out to him by contacting (317) 981-9467.

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