IFD: Heavy fire burns at house on Indy's southeast side; caused by unattended candle

INDIANAPOLIS - Fire and emergency crews were sent to a house Thursday morning on the southeast side of Indianapolis near downtown to fight what dispatchers were calling a heavy fire. The resident of the home said a burning candle started the blaze.

The fire was reported just before 6 a.m. in the 900 block of Lexington Avenue. Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) crews report to dispatchers the fire was strong when they arrived.

IFD Lt. Larry Tracy said two women escaped from the home, but they lost a cat.

Lt. Tracy reported that one of the women said she had been asleep when she awoke to the jar of a candle bursting in her bedroom. The woman reported that she tried to put out the fire, but was unable to when it spread and the smoke began to fill the room. Lt. Tracy said it spread to either her bedding or something very close to the bed.

The two women got out and were able to call 911, but one of them had to later be taken to the hospital after she told crews she wasn't feeling well. IFD said she was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

RTV6's Julie Pursley said crews not only had to battle the fire, but they were fighting against the snow and ice covering the roads near the fire. A thick layer of ice, covered in fluffy snow, could have proved to be a problem for crews. Lt. Tracy commented that while weather conditions were harsh Thursday morning, extra precautions helped crews stay on a normal workflow when it came to battling the fire.

"The firefighters are basically trained to deal with all situations," Lt. Tracy said. "Of course -- we're in Indiana. So, we know that the weather is a part of Indiana, and inclement weather is sometimes something we have to deal with."

RTV6's Shea Goodpaster, who is on the scene, said flames were showing at the rear of the house.

Drivers are urged to avoid that area if possible. 

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