Investigators dig through warehouse debris to find fire’s origin

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— Investigators returned to the west side Wednesday morning to sift through what remained of a large warehouse that caught fire Saturday. 

Indianapolis Fire Department officials said they officially turned the site, located at 220 S. Belmont Ave., over to investigators, who will begin removing barriers of collapsed material. Crews will work through layers of debris and steel in order to determine the area of origin and possible cause of the fire that caused 60 percent of the building to collapse.

PHOTOS | Aftermath of west side warehouse fire

Evacuation crews will remain at the scene Wednesday to assist investigators in removing the heavy debris, using cranes and other large equipment.

Tuesday, officials announced asbestos was found in the debris, but they said initial testing indicated levels of it were well below the acceptable exposure limits. However, due to the findings, investigators and other crew members will take extra precautions by wearing protective gear and breathing apparatuses. Additionally, workers will work in shifts and be limited to spending 20 minutes in the debris at one time.

Results of an air quality test conducted by the Marion County Health Department are expected to be released Wednesday. Officials said the investigation could take a slower pace if sample results require investigators to use a respirator and take other precautionary measures while at the scene.

The investigation is expected to take a minimum of seven to 10 days.

Authorities continue to urge the public to send in any photos or videos they may have taken of the warehouse fire Saturday. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

FOX59 VIEWER PHOTOS | Belmont Avenue warehouse fire

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