INDIANAPOLIS - Investigators said smoking in bed may have led to the fire that killed a 77-year-old man in Indianapolis late Tuesday night.
Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Reith said the fire was reported just after 10:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of Roache Street on the city's west side.
Firefighters reportedly pulled the man from the second floor of the house and into the front yard, where rescue crews worked to save his life. His pulse returned and he was rushed to Eskenazi Health in critical condition, but he later died.
IFD said two women who live in the home said they were close family friends with the man, who had lived with them for 20 years.
The women told investigators they had been downstairs when the smoke detectors went off, and they heard the man shouting that they should get out of the house because something was on fire.
One of the women said she ran upstairs to find the man's bedroom aflame, and ran back downstairs and out of the house, as did the other woman. They said they thought the man was trying to put the fire out when he was overcome by the heavy smoke.
IFD arrived at the fire and Reith said Batallion Chief Rick Longerich initiated an intense search for the man when crews learned there was a person trapped inside the home. He reportedly went into the home without a fire hose and tried to get upstairs, but was pushed back by the sharp heat, the thick black smoke and nonexistent visibility.
As crews made aggressive attacks with the hose line, search efforts were continued and crews found the man.
We will not identify the man until authorities have properly notified his loved ones.
Reith said this is the 15th fire-related deaths in 2014 for the IFD service district.
Watch RTV6 and check back here for updates.
Suspect, victim in murder-suicide identified
Police now know the identities of the two people shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide on the city's northeast side.
ALERT: Morning fog followed by PM storms
Outside of a spotty shower, the threat of rain is much lower to start today. That's good news for getting in your outdoor…
PHOTOS: Comic Con 2016
The Indiana Comic Con is Indianapolis’ largest, true comic con. Featured are exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests…
Officer hit by car while investigating crash
Police were investigating a crash when they stopped another driver for going the wrong way.
1988 Indy 500: Rick Mears has his third win
The 1988 Indianapolis 500 was a show of record breaking domination by some of the most familiar figures in track history.