Indianapolis Fire Department

Tuesday March 12, 2024


The Indianapolis Fire Department was notified this morning around 11:00 AM that one of their own was the catalyst for a heroic rescue this morning in Greenwood, IN.  Off Duty Captain Mark Baranko, a 15 veteran of the IFD, was returning to his home from the grocery store shortly before 8:30 this morning.  While en-route, he noticed some police activity near a home in the Carefree Subdivision and slowed down to take a better look.  He saw flames pushing from the second floor of a two story house. Mark pulled his car to the side and ran to help. The homeowner was out front and told Mark his wife was still inside.  Mark assessed the situation and continued to ask the man pointed questions about her location. He told Mark his wife was upstairs in a rear bedroom.

Without regard for his own personal safety Mark made rapid entry into the home through the front door. The 1st level of the home still had good visibility and Mark made his way to the stairs.  Heavy toxic black smoke blanketed the entire upstairs leaving only 6 inches of visibility and barely breathable air at floor level. Mark was forced to the floor to conduct his search.  Within a minute he located the unconscious woman in the doorway of a rear bedroom.  Mark picked her up, carried her out the front door and once outside and established an airway.   Area crews arrived on scene and assumed care for the woman transporting her to the hospital.  Mark assisted with information for the incident commander and went on his way.  He did not sustain any injuries.

IFD Chief Ernest Malone states, “I am proud of the heroic efforts by Captain Baranko this morning.  It is not every day that you are faced with a choice to risk your own life to save another and when faced with that choice today, Captain Baranko willingly took the risk.  Mark is a consummate professional who excels in his duties as both an officer, a leader and instructor.  We are proud to have him as a member of our firefighting family.  Our thoughts are with all those affected by today’s fire and hope that the woman makes a full recovery.”

The IFD appreciates the partnership of White River Township Fire Department Chief Jeremy Pell and his efforts to ensure that the IFD was made aware of Captain Baranko’s heroic efforts.

Credit: Rita Reith, MPIO