IFD: Investigation of Belmont fire set to begin Tuesday morning

National team brough in to investigate

INDIANAPOLIS - Firefighters remained on watch Monday morning at the scene of a smoldering warehouse fire that burned for nearly eight hours over the weekend.

The fire sparked Saturday afternoon in the 200 block of Belmont Avenue at a 440,000-square-foot warehouse on Indianapolis' southwest side.

The building once housed a Link Belt facility. It was being leased by Shelter Distribution, Mercury Trucking, Zen Trucking, Nationwide OTR and two general contractors, fire investigators said.

Officials said 60 percent of the burning building eventually collapsed and more than 100 homes in the area were evacuated, Indianapolis Fire Department crews said. 

Investigators said they hoped to start the investigation into what caused the blaze Tuesday morning.

A national response team consisting of agents and forensic specialists arrived in Indianapolis on Monday to begin the investigation. The team will remain in town until the investigation is over.

Once it is determined if the fire was accidental or a criminal matter, the findings will be turned over to the proper authorities and the next steps will be taken, officials with the Indianapolis Fire Department said.

Officials with the Marion County Health Department said that if smoke is present, residents should continue to limit their exposure outside. Anyone with health issues should make sure to close their windows and stay out of the area if possible.

Precautionary samples were taken to test  for asbestos and metals. Those results will be back in a couple of days, said IFD spokeswoman Capt. Rita Burris.

Belmont Avenue reopened without any restrictions, but officials have requested that onlookers stay out of the area. The investigation site is off limits to anyone not involved with the investigation, police said.

Officials did not have any determination of damage amounts at this time.

Anyone with video, pictures or information about the incident should call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

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