An early morning apartment fire left 28 people out of their homes at 17350 Bigleaf Maple Blvd. in the Maple Knoll apartment community on August 9.
While storms were rolling through Westfield at 7 a.m. that morning, a man was startled out of his sleep to the sound of a thunder. The thunder seemed closer than he’d ever heard before, and he got out of bed. WFD Spokesman John Barrett said the man walked to his furnace area and saw smoke billowing out.
“Instinct took over – he grabbed his dog and called 911 while getting out of the apartment. At the same time, firefighters at the nearby fire station heard the boom too,” said Barrett. “Alarms in the apartment began alerting other resident, and the on-site maintenance staff began evacuating.”
Because of an alarm problem in another building the night before, staff were already onsite.
Fortunately, this meant that everyone got out safely.
“Firefighters arrived and jumped into action – getting everyone out safe. At the same time, other crews began attacking the third floor fire,” Barrett explained.
Barrett said firefighters soon realized they were chasing a fire in the attic, and started the tedious process of finding the main blaze, which took nearly 30 minutes. Firefighters then quickly put water on the fire.
At 8:15 a.m., these crews marked the blaze out and began helping residents deal with the tragedy. Sheenahn Property Management, who owns and operates the community, and the American Red Cross helped the displaced residents find a place to stay and recover from the fire.
Firefighters from Indianapolis, Noblesville, Zionsville and Sheridan all assisted Westfield. In all, the city was extremely busy from storm related calls with a total of six possible lightening strikes that morning.
“While this is definitely tragic and we’re doing everything we can to help, we are so fortunate that no one was hurt or injured,” Barrett said.