LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Three children and one man have been taken to the hospital after an apartment fire in Lafayette Sunday night. One of those children, a 6-year-old, was flown to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis in critical condition. This child has serious burns, according to Lafayette Fire Chief Richard Doyle.
Officials got the call that a fire had started at the Twykenham Apartments around 6:30 p.m.
Doyle said a couch caught on fire in a bottom apartment. The flames then quickly spread up to engulf the top apartment. It is unknown how the couch caught fire.
All the people inside the bottom apartment got out safely after the fire started.
The three children and the man were taken to the hospital were in the top apartment. The man was able to get two of the children out, but Chief Doyle said he believes search and rescue teams had to get the third child out.
He said the adult was the father of two of the children. Their current condition is unknown at this time.
All neighbors could do was watch and hope that everyone got out safely.
"By the grace of God everybody got out of there," said Mecca Bender, a resident at the apartment complex. "That's what I was happy about. I'm like get the babies out, get the babies out and they said they got all the babies out."
Chief Doyle said at one point, there were five EMS units on the scene. All the people who lived in the other eight apartments were evacuated and the Red Cross is helping them find places to stay while fire officials continue to investigate the scene.
He said it is unknown if the smoke detectors were working.
"This is the story we are trying to spread," Doyle said. "You need to have working smoke detectors."
He said in rental properties like Twykenham Apartments, it's a joint responsibility between the landlord and tenant to make sure smoke detectors are in working order.
Chief Doyle said the apartments affected by the fire directly had extensive fire damage. The other surrounding apartments only have smoke damage and some are without utilities.
The fire is still under investigation.