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One Dead After House Fire on Near Northwest Side

The Indianapolis Fire Department says smoking in bed may be the cause of a fatal fire on the city's near northwest side late Tuesday night.

Firefighters were called shortly before 11:00 to a home in the 1500 block of Roache Street and learned there was heavy fire on the second floor.  The windows of an upstairs bedroom blew and the fire vented itself.

A 77-year-old man was found in the bedroom and brought down to crews outside who immediately began CPR.  The man was taken to Eskenazi Hospital where he later died.

The home's owner, 67-year-old Ruth Walls, and her 50-year-old daughter Marbella Walls told investigators they were downstairs when they heard the smoke alarms go off.  They then heard the man yelling for them to get out of the house because something was on fire.

The man, whose name has not been released, was a family friend who had lived with the women for 20 years.  They told investigators the man may have been smoking in bed when the fire started.

The fire was under control in about 20 minutes.  Damage to the home was estimated at $50,000.

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