Neighbors rescue man from house fire

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Four people are recovering from injuries suffered in a house fire early Sunday morning on the south side of Indianapolis, including a little girl.

The Indianapolis Fire Department was called to a home at 3209 Alice Avenue just after 1:30 a.m. A one story home was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

The homeowner, 53-year-old George Chapman is at Wishard Hospital in the burn unit in critical condition.

His wife, Karen along with two relatives, 32-year-old Justin Kenworthy and his five-year-old daughter were all taken to Wishard Hospital. Karen and Justin are both in serious condition in the intensive care unit.  No condition is available for Kenworthy's five-year-old daughter.

Firefighters tell us those three escaped on their own, but George Chapman collapsed near the door, slamming it shut.

Neighbors, Stephen Scrogham , Brian Boger and Jessica Kibler, came to his rescue and kicked the door open allowing Kenworthy to pull the man to safety.

Firefighters were arriving at this time and began immediate medical care.

A family member of the fire victims has informed us the family had three dogs that lived in the home with them. It is unknown at this point if they made it out safely.  If they were able to escape the fire they may be running around outside in the neighborhood. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but IFD Captain Rita Burris tells us, "One of the occupants of the house stated that he thought it was a space heater being utilized inside the house; he said that there was a kerosene space heater".

Investigators say it doesn't appear there were any working smoke detectors in the house.

IFD would like to remind residents to use caution when using space heaters and to never leave them on overnight while asleep. Keep a 3 foot perimeter around the space heater and only use kerosene heaters in a well-ventilated area.