Woman dies after pulled from apartments on fire; 2 others hurt

INDIANAPOLIS - A woman was killed by a fire that began on a stovetop at an apartment building early Thursday morning. Two others were also hurt.

The fire was reported shortly before 4 a.m. in the 3400 block of Ashley Lane. That's near 34th Street and Moller Road on the west side of the city. A man told RTV6 the fire started on his stovetop in an apartment at Pangea Meadows.

When Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) crews arrived, they said there were strong flames showing from the building.

RTV6's Anne Kelly spoke with a man who lives in the building. The man said his 60-year-old wife, who was in a hoveround chair, accidentally started the fire cooking food on their stove. The man said his wife was unable to get out of the building on her own.

IFD said that woman was pulled from the building and taken to Eskenazi Health in "extremely" critical condition. She was pronounced dead just before 5:45 a.m.

IFD spokeswoman Rita Reith said the crews attempting to save the woman gave it their all, calling their rescue efforts valiant.

Two other people were injured by the fire. IFD said they suffered minor injuries.

IFD officials said there were acts of bravery from some of the residents. A woman was trapped in her upper-floor apartment, so two other residents dragged a mattress beneath her window. The woman jumped and landed safely on the mattress.

Images from the scene show the fire was either mostly or completely out by 4:15 a.m., but there is significant damage to the apartment building.

Nine residents were affected by the fire, with six apartments either partially or completely damaged by the blaze. That's where the Red Cross stepped in.

American Red Cross Regional Communications Director Ann A. Gregson told RTV6 that the Red Cross sent a team of disaster volunteers to Pangea Meadows to assist the displaced residents.

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