Thick concrete may have prevented downtown fire from spreading

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A fire this morning at a downtown building was put out by firefighters in less than 30 minutes. The flames and thick black smoke could be seen for miles.

The fire happened at a building at Massachusetts Ave. and College Ave. that houses 23 condo units, restaurants and shops.

Indianapolis Fire Department Investigators believe the fire started on the roof of the building. That's where a renovation is being done. Penthouse units are also being renovated.

Residents made it out quickly after hearing fire trucks. The smoke alarms never went off. Investigators said that's because the fire started above the line of the alarms.

"The fire alarm, I didn’t hear that. My husband came banging in the room, telling me to hurry up and get out and I’m like, what’s going on?" said resident, Keyosha.

Keyosha had only been living in the unit for 2 months. She said she rushed to get her young son out of the building and didn't even have time to get socks or shoes.

Residents were taken to IFD's fire union hall across the street for shelter.

The 4th and 5th floors of the building have significant water damage. Flames never went below the roof, though.

A property manager said that's likely because there are 12 inches of concrete in between floors. Utilities were turned off for the whole building throughout the fire, but were slowly being turned back on Friday afternoon. Some residents are being allowed back into their units, although a lack of heat may be an issue for some.

“As long as everyone’s safe you know? There’s not much you can do about it," Keyosha said.

Businesses below said they didn't have any damage and were able to open after a few hours when their utilities were turned back on.

IFD is still investigating a cause. Neighbors heard popping sounds or small explosions. Investigators are looking into the gas line into a grill on the roof as a possible cause.