Three-alarm fire heavily damages warehouse on Indianapolis southeast side

3-alarm fire at Indy Drum on southeast side of Indianapolis
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Indianapolis firefighters were called to the Fountain Square area overnight to put out a three-alarm fire at a warehouse. 

It happened at the Indy Drum building, located in the 3500 block of Terrace Avenue, near Sherman Avenue and Prospect Street.  Firefighters went into defensive attack, meaning that they were not sending any firefighters inside. Eighty firefighters worked to get the fire under control.  

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Larry Tracy with the Indianapolis Fire Department said the company doesn't store a lot of chemicals at that site, mainly just empty containers. 

Firefighters don't believe anyone was inside at the time because firefighters had to cut fencing and locks to get inside the building. No injuries were reported.

A shelter in place warning had to be issued while crews worked to determine what was burning and the impact on air in a five-block radius.

The Marion County Health Department and Environmental Protection Agency conducted air testing in the neighborhood and determined there was no need for any evacuations.

"The few things that we saw were things like carbon monoxide which would be expected from a fire and those numbers were very low, well below any sort of human health factor," said Jason Doerflein with the Marion County Health Department.

Indy Drum was established in 1965 and work to clean and refurbish 55 gallon drums.

Neighbors describe hearing loud booms.

"I smelled something burning because I had my windows open and I woke up and I came out here," said Mandy Harper, who lives across the street.

Dozens of Fire trucks and other crews and investigators then rolled up to the scene.

"Sherman was completely blocked off so we made another plan to go out this way and we went to do it and the fire trucks and hoses are all out this way and I couldn't get anywhere," Harper said.

With no way to get out, the course of the family's day changed.

"It feels like a snow day because we're out of school," said Haley Harper, a seventh grade student, said.

The family actually didn't welcome the unexpected day off.

"I'm kind of mad because I don't like to make up stuff," Shelbie Harper, a seventh grade student, said.

She's talking about the ISTEP test which is underway at their middle school.

"We were doing social studies today," Shelbie Harper said.

They'll be able to make-up parts of the test they missed.

A firefighter was hurt when he tripped over debris in the dark while trying to put the fire out. He suffered minor injuries and did not break any bones.

Around 12:30, the all clear had been issued and most employees returned to work in other buildings that were not impacted by the fire.

Firefighters say the cause remains under investigation, but crews were able to rule out anything suspicious. 

If you have concerns about companies that handle hazardous materials in your neighborhood, you can check the EPA's map here.