Firefighter injured while fighting College Ave. apartment fire
An Indianapolis firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion after fighting a fire at a vacant apartment building on the Indianapolis near north side early Friday.
It happened at E. 22nd Street and North College Ave. at around 6:00 am. Heavy fire and smoke was pouring from the two-story brick building, which IFD believes dates back to the early 1900s.
It took firefighters four hours to get the fire under control, and the building is considered a total loss, with damage estimated at $550,000.
Firefighters inside the building thought they had put the fire out, but exterior crews were still reporting heavy fire from the roof.
The building was divided into eight apartment units, but Indianapolis Fire Department crews say that interior renovations made it easy for the fire to travel between four layers of interior ceiling composed of plaster and lath. The dropped ceilings and void spaces ran the length of the building. Firefighters had to break through heavy plaster to reach the hidden fire. A brick wall separated the entire length of the building into two parts, and this also proved challenging for firefighters, who had to fight the fire on two distinct sides of the building.
IFD became concerned about the structural integrity of the building and pulled out its crews. One firefighter was treated at the scene after falling down two flights of stairs.