MEC&F Expert Engineers : 62-year-old Albert Lee Edwards Jr., dies in his Indianapolis, IN home fire after smoking next to oxygen tank

Monday, May 21, 2018

62-year-old Albert Lee Edwards Jr., dies in his Indianapolis, IN home fire after smoking next to oxygen tank

IFD: 62-year-old man dies in east side fire after smoking next to oxygen tank
  FOX59 Web

May 20, 2018


The Indianapolis Fire Department responded to a fatal fire Sunday morning. The blaze was caused by the victim smoking next to an oxygen tank. IFD said the family identified the victim as 62-year-old Albert Lee Edwards Jr., a lifelong Indianapolis resident. His family said he was released from the hospital three days ago.

At around 11:30 a.m., authorities were dispatched to the 4300 block of Fletcher Ave. on the report of a fire. Two other people in the house escaped unharmed.

This is the seventh fire-related death in the IFD service district in 2018.

IFD officials encourage the public to learn about fire safety through its website.


Smoking, oxygen tank use suspected in fatal Indianapolis house fire

Tim Evans and Justin L. Mack, IndyStar 

May 20, 2018

(Photo: Indianapolis Fire Department)

An Indianapolis man died Sunday in an east side house fire that investigators believe started after he was smoking near his home oxygen tank.

The death of Albert Lee Edwards Jr., 62, is the second fire fatality in Marion County in five days — and the seventh in the Indianapolis Fire Department service district in 2018.

Edwards died in a fire reported at 11:23 a.m. Sunday in the 4300 block of Fletcher Avenue.

Brianna Chislom, 2, died Wednesday of injuries sustained in a Beech Grove house fire.

IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith said flames were not visible from the outside of the home when firefighters arrived, and that the fire had nearly burned itself out.

Three people, including the victim, and two dogs were inside the structure when the fire began, Reith said. The other occupants made it out of the home safety, but were unable to save Edwards.

The victim was pulled from the home when first responders arrived, but was pronounced dead at the scene, Reith said. Family members told investigators that the man had been using a home oxygen tank and smoking prior to the incident.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation. A report said it was not immediately clear if the home had working smoke detectors.

In a statement, Reith said IFD officials are "concerned about the number of preventable, accidental fires and fire-related fatalities — occurring specific to the age group of 50-59."

She reported department statistics show that to be the most affected age group in the IFD service district. Reith said that group accounted for 33 percent of the IFD fire-related deaths in 2015, compared to 18 percent nationally that year, according to U.S. Fire Administration.

Over a five-year period spanning 2013-2018, Reith added, 27 percent of IFD's fire-related fatalities involved victims between the ages of 50 and 59.

"The seven fatalities that have occurred in the IFD Service District this year have all been ruled accidental — preventable," the statement said, adding the average of those victims is 62.