INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) - An early morning fire that destroyed a $28 million apartment
complex under-construction in downtown Indianapolis is still
smoldering Thursday night. The fire broke out just after 3 a.m.
The new development called
Cosmopolitan on the Canal, an upscale apartment
complex has been under construction for a year now. The building
was just months away from opening its doors. Now, the developers
will have to start all over. The development is considered a total
Read more about the investigation into the
This is one of those fires you have to see to believe. Check out
the video by clicking on the video player in the upper left of this
“The first unit on the corner about 70 units or so I
believe were scheduled to open in May. The remainder of the
building was set to open in September,” said Jerry Collins,
Collins said the sprinkler system and fire walls were scheduled
to be installed in two weeks.
“We did not have it charged up yet, had it been charged up
the fire would be out now,” said Collins.
“Firefighters have been working hard all morning to get
this under control,” said Rita Reith, PIO of Indianapolis
Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Mayor Greg Ballard as well as IFD Chief Sanford said they are
very proud of the work their firefighters have done, and they said
the fire could have been much worse.
One of the challenges firefighters faced is the ice. As the
ladder trucks sprayed water on the building, a fine mist covered
everything on the ground. The mist quickly froze, making the area
resemble a skating rink.
Several downtown streets are still blocked off due to the
fire. Indiana, Senate & Michigan Streets will remain
closed until at least Friday morning. West Street was opened at
approximately 11:30 am and traffic is flowing well.
Click here to
find out your best route home.
When the building was fully engulfed, people could see the smoke
and flames from miles away. The smoke was so thick it enveloped
half of the One America building.
Terri Dusenbery and her husband, who live nearby, briefly fled
their condo out of fear the fire might spread.
"Our bedroom was bright orange and I thought, 'What is going
on?'" she said. "So I got up and looked out, and the fire was so
intense our window was hot."
Others watched the blaze with amazement.
"It feels like I'm standing next to my fireplace now. The city's
burning down or something," said David Harden.
Fiery ash from the fire fell to the ground and created more fire
hazards. The embers ignited bushes in the area and were even
burning on top of cars.
One building firefighters worked hard to protect was the
Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation. The
building is about 125 years old. Fire officials said the historic
building did sustain some damage, but the extent is not known at
“As an organization dedicated to saving historic
structures across Indiana, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana
is grateful for the heroic efforts of our city’s firefighters
to protect our headquarters from today’s terrible downtown
fire," said Marsh Davis, president of Historic Landmarks Foundation
of Indiana. "While our building, which sits adjacent to the complex
involved in the blaze, did suffer damage, if not for the quick work
of the Indianapolis Fire Department, our home might have been lost.
Our gratitude goes out to all of the city’s safety personnel
on the scene this morning, and our best wishes go out to residents
and business owners affected by today’s fire.”
The Cosmopolitan on the Canal project broke ground in March
2008. The design called for 218 apartments on the upper floors and
20,000 square feet of stores on the lower floor. The developer
said that they had invested $28 million in the project.
The Cosmopolitan was going to be a luxury apartment complex with
retail stores on the ground floor. Across the street is Mo Joe
coffee house. One of the employees expected the Cosmopolitan to
bring him more business once it was occupied, but that won't happen
The developer told 24-Hour News 8 they did have insurance and
they will rebuild.
Captain Reith said due to the magnitude of the fire 12 fire
investigators from IMPD, IFD, and ATF are trying to determine the
cause of the fire. She said it could be days before they determine