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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Apartment fire Friday forces residents to jump from balconies


Seven people jumped from balconies, three were rescued by firefighters and two apartments were significantly damaged in a Friday morning fire at Park Doral Apartments.

The fire started in unit E at the apartment complex on East Seventh Street. Of the complex’s 32 occupants, 25 were associated with IU, from students to visiting faculty, according to the University.

Residential Programs and Services is providing housing for those who were affected by the fire, including IU students and visitors, IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said.

Carney said IU also provided extra caps and gowns to about seven students who lost theirs in the fire.

Police said the fire started as a 28-year-old man warmed oil on his stove. The man told officers he went to the bathroom and flames were surrounding the stove when he returned.

He told police his fire extinguisher was in the kitchen, but he didn’t think he could get to it safely, so he yelled for everyone to leave the apartment and called 911.

The man reported the flames began to grow as he and his two roommates opened the door to escape and gusts of wind fed the fire.

Eight Bloomington Fire Department units responded to the call, along with five Bloomington Police Department officers, several IU Police Department officers and members of the IU Health Ambulance Service.

BFD reported the fire spread rapidly due to the open doors. 

“BFD reminds the public to close their doors when they sleep and if they encounter fire conditions,” the city’s press release read. “The apartments with closed doors had only minor smoke damage.”

The fire was extinguished within 14 minutes of the initial 911 call, according to the release.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident, but a few minor injuries were suffered from jumping off of balconies to escape. No one was transported to the hospital, and fire crews also saved four pets.

BPD Lt. Ryan Pedigo said he saw one woman with extreme swelling to her hand, but it was unclear whether it was broken.

Pedigo said nine of the apartments were badly damaged by fire or water.

“Today is the epitome of why we exist,” fire chief Jason Moore said in the city’s press release. “IU Commencement weekend could have started with a tragic loss of life. However, thanks to our public safety team and great partnership with Indiana University, these students and their guests will get to celebrate their graduation.”

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