BUTLER, Ind. (WANE) A building in downtown Butler caught fire midday Tuesday and sent nine people to the hospital, including two police officers.
Fire crews were called shortly after 11 a.m. to a building at 117 South Broadway Street for a reported fire.
Smoke could be seen rising high from the building. The main source of the smoke appeared to be from a second-story apartment.
Fire officials told NewsChannel 15 that seven people were taken to hospitals with injuries. Two police officers who responded to the building to help victims were also being treated for smoke inhalation, according to officials at the scene.
A person inside the burning building said three of her family members jumped from second story windows.
“I was getting ready to go back in after my mom and [family], but by the time I rounded the corner they were jumping out the window,” a resident of the apartment that caught fire, Amber McCoy, said.
McCoy says two of her family members remain in the hospital with bad burns. Five of the family’s pets died.
“I have a 1-year-old,” McCoy said. “I snatched him up. I went to head down the stairs. I couldn’t see anything. My chest was hurting because I couldn’t breathe.”
Marie Boes lives next door and she said she considers McCoy and her family friends. When she saw the flames she immediately went into action.
“There was a trailer in the alleyway, and I jumped up on the trailer and asked anybody to hand me a ladder,” Boes said.
Boes said one of the occupants inside the apartment was unconscious, hanging out of a window.
Fire crews said the whole block was evacuated after the fire caused a gas leak. The gas company was able to shut the gas off, but it displaced several people, including Boes.
Fire officials said the fire started in the basement of the building but it’s unknown what sparked the fire. The building also includes two store-fronts which sit vacant.
No other details have been released.