One Dead In Fire, Many More Saved After Officer Lee Huffman Rescues Residents From Condo With No Smoke Detectors

Officer Lee Huffman saved residents from a condo fire when they had no working smoke detectors.

Officer Lee Huffman saved residents from a condo fire when they had no working smoke detectors. (File photo, not the actual fire.)

Officer Lee Huffman Saves Lives

Beech Grove, IN – The residents of Beech Grove, Indiana are still recovering from a condo fire over the weekend that claimed one life and almost claimed more as they slept.  Thanks to third-shift Beech Grove police officer Lee Huffman, more residents didn’t perish.

Officer Lee Huffman was ending his shift in the city of Beech Grove, on the outskirts of Indianapolis, at around 6 AM on Friday when he noticed smoke around Arlington Ave.  As he turned toward the smoke, he saw an orange glow of flames coming from Carriage Courts, a condo unit in the 6100 block of Timber Lake Boulevard.  He immediately radioed for fire personnel and took quick action, knocking on doors to alert the sleeping residents.

“A Beech Grove police officer rolled up on this fire and alerted the residents by knocking on the doors,” Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith said.

According to the Indy Star firefighters were dispatched at 5:54 AM and arrived within four minutes.

Officer Lee Huffman got every one out except one man, whom residents were unsure if he was home.

“It’s actually a quad with four condos joined together. It was heavily engulfed on one side with fire coming from the bedroom,” said Reith.

Firemen entered the residence as they worked to contain the fire and found a 53-year-old man on their initial search.

According to family members, he had been battling stage four cancer.

Emergency personnel performed CPR on scene and he was transported to Eskenazi in critical condition; he later died from his injuries. The Indianapolis Fire Department said there was not a single working smoke detector in the building at the time.

The fire was ultimately contained around 6:15 AM with damages estimated to be around $60,000.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Great job, Officer Lee Huffman.  Your proactive police work on behalf of the citizens of Beech Grove undoubtedly saved lives that night.  You are the true definition of a hero and we salute you, Sir.