A fire in an abandoned Southeast Indianapolis warehouse grew to a three-alarm blaze before it could be extinguished by firefighters. Units were originally dispatched to 2009 Draper Street. First arriving companies reported a working fire, with fire showing through the roof of the building at approximately 1944 hours. A 2nd Alarm was struck about 1959 hours and followed by the 3rd around 2037 hours. The blaze started in a single-story, 30,000-square-foot block building at 1545 Van Buren Street and was brought under control around 2147 hours; about two hours after firefighters were dispatched to the scene.
The thick black smoke from the fire could be seen for miles, and made breathing difficult within a three-block radius of the incident. Asbestos roof tiles on the building added to the hazardous conditions forcing all personnel at the scene to don Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). One firefighter suffered a back strain and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported. Forty-three Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) units were dispatched to the scene to fight the fire, including 13 Engine Companies and 8 Ladder Companies.
Firefighters employed a defensive strategy and maintained a collapse zone around the structure for scene safety. The building eventually collapsed during the incident, which caused an estimated quarter-million dollars in damage. An inquiry into the cause of the fire is being conducted by the IFD’s Fire Investigation Unit. IFD Firefighters have been put to the task in this area before. The fire building was located on the back side of a site where a four-alarm blaze occurred in several abandoned industrial buildings on September 8th, 2013.
Indianapolis, IN - 1545 Van Buren Street
April 11th, 2014 at 1944 hours