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Officials say fire now out, as ATF begins on-site investigation into Plainfield warehouse fire

By fire crew standards, the fire at the Walmart fulfillment center is out. Now, the ATF's national response team is investigating its cause.

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — Two days after the massive fire at the Walmart fulfillment center in Plainfield first began, fire officials now say they consider that fire to be out. 

"By our standards, we're considering the fire out," said Plainfield Fire Territory Chief Brent Anderson. 

Throughout the day on Friday, crews were out at the scene, putting out small hotspots and monitoring the facility while investigators from the ATF's national response team hit the ground to start their investigation into what started the fire. The smoke slowly coming up from the building is a far cry from the flames and heavy smoke that filled the air when the fire first started Wednesday afternoon

"When we arrived, all suppression efforts or suppression systems were operating as designed. We'll get into more of that in the coming days to the strategy and tactics of what happened over there or didn't happen," Anderson said.

Anderson said the building's fire suppression system was not ordered off, but firefighters did shut off the sprinklers in the area where the fire started. The chief said they would explain their reasons at a later date.

As for how the fire started, that investigation is now underway, with ATF crews on-site. Finding out how it began will be difficult, ATF Special Agent Jason Walsh said, but stressed they have resources that can greatly help.

"We have a lot of resources to include explosive K-9s, we have specific, certified fire specialists and they're really attuned to how fire spreads, how fire starts," Walsh said.

Over the next few hours, Anderson said their crews can pivot from putting the fire out to helping support crews on the ground with the investigation, which will begin as soon as it's safe for investigators to go inside.

"It's going to be slow, methodical," Anderson said. "It's going to take several days, weeks, maybe even months to determine what happened there."

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