The Charlotte Observer
Crews in central Indiana were battling a massive fire at a Walmart distribution center on Wednesday, March 16.
Photos shared by the Plainfield Fire Department show heavy clouds of black smoke above the building. A cause of the fire has not been disclosed, but the Brownsburg Fire Department described it as a 5-alarm fire.
The Hendricks 911 Center experienced “heavy volume telephone traffic” regarding the fire, the Town of Plainfield said at 1:13 p.m. Wednesday. Town officials asked residents to stay clear of the area as firefighters attempted to put out the blaze.
About 1,000 people were inside the facility when the fire broke out, but no injuries have been reported, Plainfield fire officials told WXIN.
It’s unclear how many people the distribution center employs. It had plans to add more than 300 jobs by 2016, with an additional 200 more in 2018.It’s unclear how many people the distribution center employs. It had plans to add more than 300 jobs by 2016, with an additional 200 more in 2018.
People were sharing photos on social media, showing the fire from many miles away.
Plainfield is about 20 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis.
A fire department official told a WTHR reporter that crews were in a defensive position, meaning they were battling the fire from outside the facility.
The fire caused the building’s north facing wall to collapse, the Indianapolis Star reported. Explosions were also heard from inside the building, the publication said.
“Just about every fire department in central Indiana is responding,” Joe Aldridge, deputy chief with the Plainfield Police Department, told WISH-TV.
Many people shared photos on social media of debris that had fallen from the fire, but one official urged caution in handling the material.
“These burnt materials can contain toxic carcinogens,” Mike Pruitt, deputy chief at the Bargersville Fire Department, said in a Twitter post. “This is the very reason firefighters where protective gear and respiratory protection. Just avoid it. I’m quite certain that health officials will be addressing these issues as this plays out.”