INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Darrin Anderson would have celebrated his birthday this month.
But an apartment fire killed him August 5 at the Abney Lake Apartment Complex near 38th St. and Kessler Blvd N Dr.
Indianapolis Firefighters didn't discover his body until 30 days after fighting that fire, however.
His sister, Karla Jones, says she filed a missing persons report but nothing happened until neighbors complained about a foul smell.
"That is sad that they didn't look in the kitchen because that is where his body was," Jones said. "It was in the kitchen in front of the stove."
Anderson's funeral took place Thursday evening. His family identified him based on dental records.
Fire investigators say they completed a primary and secondary search of the apartment. Plus, they say neighbors told them no one was home.
It turns out, Anderson was dating the woman who lived in the burning unit. She wasn't home that night. Anderson was buried under debris in the kitchen where the blaze started.
Jones said she told investigators she found her brother's shoes at the door after the August 5 fire but no one listened.
"Unfortunately, we missed this body. It is not something that happens," Deputy Chief Ken Bacon said. "We feel very badly it happened, especially for the family."
In this case, the firefighters did not go back in the kitchen to check under the debris.
Chief Bacon says normally that happens.
"It was a step that was missed in this one small area, this one time and that concentration we will do in the future," Bacon said. "And that is something that we generally do.
He also said firefighters who fought the blaze that day have undergone counseling. Jones said she prays no other family has to experience the same pain.
"My brother is gone. He has gone on to Heaven to be with my mother," Jones said, adding her brother died one year after their mother. "For the next person, I would hope that the firefighters look thoroughly to make sure there is no body inside."
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