Crews lay out plan to determine cause of Belmont fire

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Investigators do not know the cause of a massive fire along Belmont Avenue in downtown Indianapolis.  They do not know where it started, but they say they will figure it out. A plan of attack is now in place to tackle what is left of the warehouse.

“We believe that the investigation phase will begin tomorrow morning, but everything is fluid and could change,” said Indianapolis Fire Department Deputy Chief Ken Bacon.

That plan, involves crews from fire, ATF, and Code Enforcement sifting through what is left of the warehouse that burned Saturday. Sixty-percent of the building collapsed and there is a lot of debris.

“It could in fact impact that investigation, but they are highly trained,” said Dave Coulson, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms spokesman. “They handle this every day, so they are pretty well versed in how to deal with this situation.”

Thick black smoke filled the sky Saturday. Tires and roofing materials fueled it.

“This fire could have had a much larger impact, but our efforts kept that from happening,” said Bacon.

As crews piece together what happened after the fact, they are relying on the public’s help to find out how and where it started.

“Different vantage points may capture different events,” said Coulson.  “Showing where the fire may have occurred, for example. That would be very important.”

As fire crews continued to find, and put out hot spots Monday, they looked forward to tackling an area that, at least right now, has been too dangerous.

“We have been in the buildings that are structurally sound (and) that you can see at the scene, but we have not torn (down the) debris pile at this time.  It has not been safe yet,” said Bacon.

As far as a timeline when the findings will be released, there is not one. The information will be passed on to IMPD’s Arson Unit, to figure out if the fire was an accident, or if it was set on purpose.