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Troubled north side apartment complex bursts into flames again

Lakeside Pointe has been riddled with fires and arson investigations this year.

INDIANAPOLIS — A troubled north side apartment complex burst into flames for at least the eighth time since September of 2020, this time flames erupted from the building but luckily no one was injured.

Firefighters went to the Lakeside Pointe at Nora apartment complex, located in the 9000 block of Lake Nora Drive East near the intersection of North College Avenue and 91st Street, at around 7 p.m. for a reported fire. 

Firefighters said 18 units responded to help battle the blaze.

The Indianapolis Fire Department reported "heavy fire" had broken out in the building. 

Six apartments were engulfed in flames and 30 residents were displaced as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, firefighters did mention a gas leak at the back of the building. At this point, it's unclear if that was the cause.

The apartment complex has been riddled with fires and arson investigations this year. The Indianapolis Fire Department reports it has responded to the complex approximately 20 times since the start of the year for building, trash and vehicle fires. IEMS also responded about 55 times to the complex since Jan. 1, 2021.

It is also home to hundreds of thousands of dollars owed in property taxes, and controversial unpaid water bills. 

All those issues led Indiana's attorney general to get involved

In July, Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against the owners and property managers of both Lakeside Pointe and Fox Club Apartments asking for a third-party receiver to step in.

RELATED: Indiana AG sues property owner, management over dangerous apartment conditions

Two days after the lawsuit was filed, the mortgage lender also filed a foreclosure action on the Lakeside Pointe and Fox Club properties. The two cases were consolidated.  

However, in September, a Marion County judge denied the attorney general’s request to appoint a receiver and called for mediation within 120 days among all parties.  

Attorney General Rokita released the following statement: 

Under the limited authority for intervention in this matter provided by state statute, our investigation and lawsuit pushed the lender to take notice of the condition of the apartments and the lack of repairs by the defendants. We will continue to investigate and assist in this case as needed, fighting for change for the hundreds of Indiana families affected by the defendants’ neglect over the years. We welcome mediation, but we suggest that all parties stay vigilant of the real conditions on the ground at the complexes."

Advocates for the residents said it’s a setback but they will continue to look for other solutions.  

“We are sad. We are disappointed,” said Debi Alexander, a volunteer with the Nora Neighborhood Ambassadors. “How could it be so clear that these tenants have been so mistreated by this owner and yet justice is not happening?”  

Alexander said residents face problems like mold, water damage, heat and air conditioning issues and fires. So far there have been seven fires in the past year, including at Lakeside Pointe’s Club House.   

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