Building lost as crews battle fire, cold

"This is one for the books"

INDIANAPOLIS - A structure fire on the near-north-side Saturday night resulted in the total loss of a building.

Firefighters battled a "massive building fire" for more than two hours near the intersection of 30th and Clifton streets. The challenge was compounded by below-freezing temperatures which turned water on sidewalks and roadways into ice.

"It's bitter cold out here," said IFD Public Information Officer Rita Reith. "The road and the sidewalks are freezing very rapidly. The firefighters' gear is freezing very rapidly."

Indianapolis Power & Light was working to restore power to the area, and IndyGo buses had been called in to provide shelter for residents without heat. 

The fire was one of several over the weekend, although it proved particularly challenging because of the weather conditions. IFD resorted to calling in INDOT salt trucks to combat the spread of ice even as they fought flames.

"This is one for the books, because everybody is soaked, and that makes it very, very difficult to work when you're dealing with freezing, wet gear," Reith said.

Officials estimated damage to the structure, which was formerly the UNWA building, at $200,000. The building was vacant, but had recently been sold for development.

"It's going to set the project back," said developer Shelley Covington, "but once we get the final analysis from the devastation of this fire, then we'll see what we can do to try to get back on track to keep going forward."

Print this article Back to Top