3 vacant buildings catch fire in 2 days as temperatures drop

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Fire Department says vacant house fires are a common problem, especially as days turn colder.

On Friday morning, two vacant structures about a mile from each other caught fire west of downtown. The vacant building fires were the second and third in two days in the city. Temperatures in Indianapolis dropped below freezing on Friday for the first time this season.

Fire crews were sent about 8:35 a.m. Friday to a two-story building in the 600 block of Warren Avenue. That’s northeast of the I-70 interchange at South Harding Street.

Firefighters also were sent about 9:55 a.m. Friday to a former nursing home near a church in the 300 block of North Holmes Avenue. That’s south of West Michigan Street between North Tibbs and North Belmont avenues.

One firefighter received a slight injury in the earlier fire, the department said.

Damage to the home on Warren Avenue was estimated at $20,000. The home on Holmes Avenue incurred $10,000 in damage.

About 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews battled a large house fire in the 3700 block of East Washington Street, near Sherman Drive, on the east side. Neighbors said squatters were frequently in and out of the house. No one was hurt in the fire. Damage was estimated at $80,000.