EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– Two structure fires nearly 40 minutes apart kept Evansville firefighters busy on Saturday night.
The first call came in around 7:30 Saturday night. Neighbors called 911 after hearing popping noises outside and seeing flames. Firefighters noticed flames coming from the back of one home, before spreading to two other homes. It was under control within 30 minutes. Officials say four people were inside the home at the time of the fire. Two of them were able to evacuate. The other two were on the second floor and escaped through a window before being rescued by firefighters.
No one inside the home was hurt, but officials say one firefighter was treated after receiving an electrical shock.
Around 40 minutes later, crews were sent to Kennedy Towers Apartments. Firefighters say smoke was visible from a seventh-floor apartment.
Juan Smith is one of the tenants at the complex. After noticing the smoke, he ran to tell his neighbors.
“The first thing I did was let people know there was a fire,” he says.
Mary Fahrenkrug has lived on the fourth floor for almost six years. She was at home at the time of the fire and says she has never seen anything like it before.
“When I got out to move my car early this morning, there were pieces of burnt wood on the floor outside the elevator. And you could still smell the lingering smoke,” she says. “A friend of mine called me and asked hey are you okay. I said what do you mean, and he said there was a fire and told me that unit it was in and said it was really bad.”
One person was injured in the fire and flown to a burn unit at a hospital in Louisville for second and third-degree burns, and smoke inhalation. Family members say he is a wheelchair and is paralyzed from a separate health issue, which made it difficult for him to escape. Firefighters rescued him from a balcony. Family members say he suffered burns on his right arm, leg, calf, and part of his chest.
“He was real sweet. One of the first people who befriended me when I moved here. People are very fond of him” says Fahrenkrug.
Both fires are under investigation.