2 alarm vacant building fire leaves west side homes in the dark

Photo Courtesy: Indianapolis Fire Department
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Dangerous cold and intense flames made for a tough night for Indianapolis firefighters.

Crews battled a huge fire that broke out at a vacant building on the west side, sending smoke across downtown.

The fire caused hundreds of power outages after power had to be shut off within a four block radius of the fire at 30th and Clifton Street where there were downed power lines.

IPL was working to get power back on to homes in the area by 11pm, but some homes were still without power.

An IndyGo Bus stayed parked on Clifton for neighbors who didn't have heat.

The American in Red Cross was also set to come to help people find shelter if their power wasn't turned back on once fire crews left.

No power meant no lights and no heat.

"We're just trying to stay warm," said Jeanny Maxie as she cradled her three month old son Damon, in her arms, the baby wrapped in several blankets.

Maxie and her family spent several hours in the dark and cold, wearing several layers of coats and hats to stay warm in their west side home.

"We're thinking about going to a hotel. We can't stay in this house feeling cold," said Maxie.

Maxie and almost 200 houses like hers were without power after an abandoned building caught fire.

Investigators said they did not know yet how the fire started in the building that was being renovated to become a senior apartment community.

Neighbors spent much of the evening, watching fire crews fight the two alarm fire with ladder trucks and water, making for icy sidewalks and roads on the coldest night of the season so far.

"I'm hoping it comes on soon, now that they've controlled the fire," said Maxie watching the firemen work from her dark living room.

Officials say they hope to have power restored to all homes by Sunday morning.