Indianapolis, IN – In the midst of a severe cold snap, two teenagers were injured in a fire at their apartment on Beckwith Drive, Indianapolis, highlighting the critical issue of warming during harsh winter conditions.
The Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) reported to the scene at 3:33 AM, where the fire was already intense, with heavy smoke and flames. Remarkably, the older of the two siblings managed to carry the younger to safety. The IFD noted the absence of working smoke alarms in the apartment and no adults were present at the time of the fire.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the use of space heaters and the stove for heating could be linked to the cause of the fire. The injured teens were promptly taken to area hospitals, one to Riley and one to Eskenazi, by the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS).
This incident is part of a larger problem faced by IFD, as they have responded to six significant fires in just 48 hours, all under challenging and brutally cold conditions. Firefighters have had to adapt to these conditions by employing strategies like continuous circulation of engine pumps to avoid freezing, and even using salt trucks to manage icy surfaces. Their equipment, including ladders, air packs, and turnout gear, has been freezing within minutes due to the excessive use of water in sub-zero temperatures.
In addition to these fires, IFD has been addressing a spike in environmental calls, including 23 incidents related to hypothermia and frostbite and six trash/warming fires, mainly among the homeless population. These reports underscore the dangerous impact of the cold weather on the community and the heightened risks associated with inadequate warming facilities.