Crews continue to battle Plainfield Walmart Distribution Center fire

Firefighters work to extinguish a massive fire at the Walmart Distribution Center in...
Firefighters work to extinguish a massive fire at the Walmart Distribution Center in Plainfield, Indiana on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.(WTHR)
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT
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AVON, Ind. (WTHR) — Firefighters are still working Thursday morning to put out a fire that erupted at a warehouse in Plainfield Wednesday afternoon.

The expansive fire could be seen on satellite and radar. It was so severe that Plainfield Police warned Plainfield and Avon commuters that due to the fire, County Road 100 South between 900 E/Smith Road and Ronald Reagan Parkway will be closed to traffic until further notice. The police department said this section of roadway could be closed for several days.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, smoke was still coming from the building — nearly 22 hours after it started.

The Hendricks County Communications Center got a call at 11:57 a.m. about a fire at the Walmart Distribution Center, which is located at 9590 Allpoints Pkwy., near Ronald Reagan Parkway and East County Road 100 South.

Plainfield firefighters were training nearby and arrived three minutes later to the building fully engulfed. Firefighters tried to battle the flames inside until about 12:45 p.m. and then moved to a defensive position outside.

Plainfield FD Chief Brent Anderson said all 1,000 employees at the distribution center are accounted for at this time and got out safely. There were no injuries to firefighters. Anderson said it was all hands on deck with 18 fire agencies helping in the effort.

Workers were taken to an off-site facility, where the ATF and Indiana State Fire Marshal questioned them about the fire. They were then shuttled to a reunification site at 1750 Smith Road.

“It’s going to be difficult to contain this,” Joe Aldridge, deputy chief of Plainfield Fire Territory said. “If you live in neighborhoods north of this facility, I’d say you should stay indoors and keep your windows and doors shut.”

Anderson echoed those statements, saying people in the path of the plume should shelter in place until further guidance is given. IDEM is responding to monitor air quality.

The National Weather Service posted a 3D view of radar data of the smoke plume and also shared a satellite loop showing the smoke was visible via satellite imagery.

It is not clear yet what caused the fire at the 1.2 million-square-foot facility. Firefighters said the fire systems inside the warehouse were working correctly, but the fire was too much for the system to handle. Anderson did say the system was key to allowing all the employees to get out safely. Police and firefighters have asked people to avoid the area so first responders can assist in the incident.

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