Debris found near warehouse fire tests positive for asbestos

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Marion County Health Department announced Wednesday that some debris samples collected near the abandoned warehouse that caught fire late Sunday tested positive for asbestos.

Officials said residential areas were checked after the fire, and it was determined the affected debris was limited to a small number of homes located along the 1300 block of E. Calhoun St., just west of the warehouse on Van Buren St.

To prevent any possible exposure to residents, the health officials are visiting the site to properly clean and dispose the debris. The department said residents will receive a photo of what the debris looks like and a phone number to call if they discover any additional debris.

The four-alarm fire in the building at 1545 E. Van Buren St. sent embers into the sky, prompting a small field fire nearby. At one point, more than 125 firefighters were called to the scene to the battle the fire that started late Sunday night.

The warehouse was slated for development and county officials had planned to announce one of two developers as the bid winner on Thursday. The options are a senior living facility or low-income housing.

The property is valued at nearly $307,000. The IFD fire marshal tried and failed twice to inspect the property this year, which has racked up a list of code violations in recent years.

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