Frozen Hydrants Hamper Indy Apt. Fire Battle


Frozen fire hydrants at an apartment complex on Indianapolis' east side hampered firefighters' efforts to quell a fast-moving blaze that forced 30 people from their homes Tuesday night.

Firefighters arrived to flames shooting from the roof of a row of town homes at Spanish Oaks Apartments near East 38th Street near Mitthoefer Road at about 8:30 p.m.

All of the residents evacuated before firefighters arrived and no injuries were reported.

Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Burris said firefighters had trouble getting water on the flames after running into a number of frozen hydrants inside the complex.

"Firefighters were forced to manually carry lines back out to 38th Street to access a working hydrant. This labor-intensive process delayed their ability to get water on the fire for 10 minutes," she said.

The blaze was brought under control in just more than an hour.

One of the families that lived in the town homes told fire investigators said the fuse box in their kitchen made a loud boom and caught fire.

Four town homes were destroyed by the fire, with damage estimated at $250,000, Burris said.

All of the residents were relocated to other apartments in the complex.

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