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One Dead, Two Seriously Injured In Washington Fire

Last updated on Thursday, March 22, 2012

(WASHINGTON) - 37-year-old April Mandabach died in a massive fire at an apartment house near the Washington High School Wednesday afternoon.

Her daughter Lacy Wadsworth and April's boyfriend Steve Potts were also injured in the blaze. When firefighters arrived at the fire Potts was on the roof of the home and Lacy was standing at a window.

According to witnesses, Lacy jumped from the second-story window. She had suffered severe burns all over the body. Potts was rescued by firefighters.

Washington Police Chief Mike Healy says both Potts and Lacy were taken to Daviess Community Hospital. Lacy was flown to Wishard Hospital and Potts to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were not sure how many people lived in the building and were not sure how many had died until late Wednesday night after a cadaver dog from Ohio Valley Search and Rescue searched the home. No other bodies were found.

The state fire marshal is investigating the blaze that destroyed the building and damaged several cars parked nearby.

April had called the police department to report smelling smoke around 5:45 a.m. and the landlord, Thadd Rusk was notified. Firefighter found no fire at that time. Fire Chief Dave Rhoads says he spoke with Rusk and he was aware of the situation. Rusk told the chief he would contact the fire department if there were other problems.

The next call was received at 12:30 p.m. when Scott Franklin, a New Wave Communications employee saw smoke coming from the building. Within minutes of that call the building was engulfed in flames.

It was not known how many had lived in the house and city officials were not sure how many had died until late in the evening when a cadaver dog from Ohio Valley Search and Rescue came with trainers and searched the house. No other body was found.

Scott Franklin, a worker for New Wave Communications, was delivering a shut-off notice when he saw smoke coming from a corner of the building.

"I called 911 and 30 seconds later, the building was all going," Franklin said.

Due to the extensive damage to the structure, Washington city and Washington Township firefighters could not retrieve Mandabach's body until after 6 p.m., when bracing was put up on the second floor so the house would not collapse on Mandabach or the firefighters.



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