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Video: FF injured as crews continue work on Walmart warehouse fire

About 1,000 people were inside the facility when the fire broke out


Photo/Pike Township Fire Department

Read FireRescue1 Executive Editor Chief Marc Bashoor’s Rapid Response analysis of the Walmart distribution center fire, and join him on the Side Alpha podcast where he explores fire protection systems at both residential structures and large facilities.

UPDATE: 10:11 a.m. CT, March 17

By Leila Merrill

CARTERSBURG, Ind. — On Thursday morning, crews were still working at the Walmart fire that started Wednesday, Fox59 reported.

Most of the fire had been put out, but flames and smoke were still seen around 5 a.m.

One firefighter had a minor injury but was able to return to the scene, The Hill reported.

Plainfield Fire Chief Brent Anderson said this is the biggest fire of his career.

“We rotated crews in and out overnight,” said Anderson. “24 agencies I think we counted assisted so far. That’s from all over west central Indiana.”

He said that the cause is unknown and figuring that out could take days or weeks.

Original report

Mike Stunson
The Charlotte Observer

CARTERSBURG, Ind. — Crews in central Indiana were battling a massive fire at a Walmart distribution center on Wednesday, March 16.

Photos shared by the Plainfield Fire Department show heavy clouds of black smoke above the building. A cause of the fire has not been disclosed, but the Brownsburg Fire Department described it as a 5-alarm fire.

The Hendricks 911 Center experienced “heavy volume telephone traffic” regarding the fire, the Town of Plainfield said at 1:13 p.m. Wednesday. Town officials asked residents to stay clear of the area as firefighters attempted to put out the blaze.

About 1,000 people were inside the facility when the fire broke out, but no injuries have been reported, Plainfield fire officials told WXIN.

It’s unclear how many people the distribution center employs. It had plans to add more than 300 jobs by 2016, with an additional 200 more in 2018.

People were sharing photos on social media, showing the fire from many miles away.

Plainfield is about 20 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis.

A fire department official told a WTHR reporter that crews were in a defensive position, meaning they were battling the fire from outside the facility.

The fire caused the building’s north-facing wall to collapse, the Indianapolis Star reported. Explosions were also heard from inside the building, the publication said.

A WXIN reporter said there were about 180 to 200 firefighters on scene, with officials saying it could be a 24-hour operation.

“Just about every fire department in central Indiana is responding,” Joe Aldridge, deputy chief with the Plainfield Police Department, told WISH-TV.

Some meteorologists said the fire showed up on radars.

Many people shared photos on social media of debris that had fallen from the fire, but one official urged caution in handling the material.

“These burnt materials can contain toxic carcinogens,” Mike Pruitt, deputy chief at the Bargersville Fire Department, said in a Twitter post. “This is the very reason firefighters where protective gear and respiratory protection. Just avoid it. I’m quite certain that health officials will be addressing these issues as this plays out.”


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