IFD: No cause, origin of fire determined in abandoned warehouse blaze

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Officials with the Indianapolis Fire Department said they are continuing to investigate the cause and origin of the fire that destroyed an abandoned warehouse on the city’s southeast side overnight.

Fire crews were dispatched to the building at 1545 E. Van Buren Street around 9 p.m. Sunday for the four-alarm fire. At one point, more than 125 firefighters were working to contain the fire.

The fire caused a small field fire to the west of the building, which is owned by Holcomb & Hoke Manufacturing Co., Inc. Approximately 15 homes in the area were evacuated, and officials said no residents were injured.

A firefighter was transported to an area hospital for heat exhaustion, but he was released Monday morning and is doing OK.

Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) workers arrived to the scene Monday afternoon to assess the building, and once it’s deemed safe to enter, investigators will continue their investigation Tuesday. Additionally, officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were called to the scene to conduct tests on the air quality.

IFD officials said the fire marshal’s office visited the warehouse in March and July of 2013 in an attempt to inspect the building. However, they said they were unable to gain entry into the warehouse both times.

According to DCE, the only violation reported at the property has been several instances of high weeds and grass.

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