Two dead in Indianapolis house fire

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A woman and a child have died in a house fire on the Indianapolis southeast side.

Indianapolis Fire Department crews were called to a home in the 400 block of South Oakland Avenue, near Southeastern and English Avenue.

The fire was in the basement of the home. The cause is still under investigation.

Nora Martinez and her daughter, Itzel Ramirez, were taken to a local hospital, where they succumbed to critical injuries.

"It is a very bad dream and I am ready to wake up," said neighbor Britney Contreras.

For her family, the victims were more than just next door neighbors.

"Our nieces and nephews play with their kids. I mean, we just saw them the other day and I am a whirlwind of emotions right now. I don't know what to think," Contreras said.

As the fire raged Thursday morning, other neighbors were worried it might spread.

"I was very nervous. I had my dog packed up and ready to go if it got too close," said neighbor Amber Geralds.

Investigators think they know why the woman and child didn't make out of 428 South Oakland Avenue in time.

"We did find, in the kitchen, a smoke detector that does work, but the battery has been pulled out just enough so that it would not go off," said IFD spokesperson Bonnie Hensley.

Two dogs inside the home also passed away.

Other residents describe the family as peaceful and quiet, often keeping to themselves due to a language barrier.

Outside the home, shattered glass represents shattered lives as investigators work to figure out what caused this double fatal fire.

"Whether you knew them or not, it is a tragedy," said neighbor Qatadah Nasaha.