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Squatters blamed for overnight fire at vacant E. Washington St. strip mall

Nobody was hurt in the early morning fire at a vacant strip mall on East Washington Street.
Credit: IFD
Indianapolis firefighters were called to an abandoned business on Washington St. east of Arlington Ave. early Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Squatters cooking on a grill are blamed for an early morning fire at a vacant building in an east side strip mall, according to Indianapolis Fire Department investigators.

The fire broke out shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday at 6433 E. Washington St., which is four blocks east of Arlington Avenue.

IFD sent 70 firefighters to the scene. The first crews to arrive found fire showing from the back of the strip mall. Within 15 minutes, a second alarm called for more help as fire crews dealt with "difficult structural (and) high heat conditions to find seat of the fire," according to an IFD Facebook post.

Firefighters were eventually able to contain the blaze and marked it under control in an hour. 

Nobody was hurt.