Belmont warehouse fire anniversary this weekend - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Belmont warehouse fire anniversary this weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS - It is just a pile of cold debris now but it was an angry, dangerous, multi alarm fire one year ago this weekend.

The old Belmont Avenue warehouse burned all day, and days later there were still hot spots. The black smoke column could be seen more than 20 miles away and the wind carried debris for miles.

Federal and local investigators could not even get into the debris pile because of the threat of collapse. It was days before they got inside to search for a cause.

And a year later the cause is still undetermined.

"Nothing but black sky. It was terrible," says Dale Logan. He is rehabbing three houses on this street just two blocks from the fire scene.

Logan says "people couldn't hardly breathe. It even took down and burned a lady's car seat when her car windows were open down here."

"Do I remember? Absolutely, vividly says Annie Joe Rees.

She had to evacuate her home along with scores of others that weekend. "It was really just unbelievable how bad it got, how quick."

At the time EPA found no life-threatening contaminants in the air. But health department told folks to handle charred paper found in their yards carefully. It blew everywhere. 13 investigates later learned some of it carried traces of asbestos. Annie Joe still worries.

"Not as much for me as for all the little children around here."

The ice cream truck brings some sweetness to where memories are still sour.

"Our roof is in bad shape. Our awning is burnt," says one resident.

And some worry that no cause was found. Is an arsonist still out there?

Dale Logan says "People don't have respect for other people's property.  They want to burn down other peoples houses. It kind of takes a toll on you."
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