Evansville police say three people have died in an apartment fire on West Franklin Street. The coroner's office confirms two adults and one child were killed in the fire.
Emergency crews were called to the two-story building that housed four apartments fire on Franklin Street near Main Street around 4:45 Monday afternoon.
Those four people were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Two of those people have been transferred to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.
We're told the fire was mostly on the second floor of the apartment building and spread quickly. Officials say four people had to jump out of windows to escape.
Medical crews attended to others and family on scene. We're told that four firefighters who were battling the fire received minor injuries while trying to help those inside.
"This was a very chaotic scene when the first responded got here. The fire department did a wonderful job getting in there trying to render aid. Four of them were injured. None of the injuries were serious, but it just highlights the dangers that the people that wear uniforms face every day. They went in there, no questions asked. They went in there to do their job to the best of their ability. Their quick action prevented that fire from spreading to nearby homes," says Sgt. Jason Cullum with EPD.
Investigators say they believe the fire was intentionally set and a person of interest has been detained for questioning. Witnesses say a man left the scene in a hurry and apparently said he started the fire. Officers were able to locate the man just a few blocks away.
Red Cross was on scene to make sure all those who live in the complex have what they need.
A neighbor, Vickie Byrne, says she lives in the apartment building and was home when the fire started. She says a neighbor banged on her door and told her to get out. She, her daughter and her dogs were able to make it out safely, but she says she's devastated and scared.
"I don't wish this on anybody. I'm serious. I do not wish this on anybody," Byrne says.
Officials have not released the names of the victims or the person they've detained at this time. The coroner's office says names will be released Tuesday after autopsies which are set for noon.
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