Industrial Storage Warehouse Fire Spreads Several Blocks

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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January 19th, 2023

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

On Saturday, December 31st, an industrial fire broke out at an Evansville warehouse on North Garvin Street, burning an estimated 260,000 ft2. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported estimated damage at $20 million.

The fire was reported just after 10 a.m. and officials estimated it had spread at least two blocks by mid-afternoon. Authorities closed the Lloyd Expressway near the Evansville’s Division Street and U.S. 41 exits and asked motorists to avoid the area.

The smoke plume from the fire could be seen via satellite imagery, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville, Kentucky.

The warehouse is used as rental space for industrial storage. No official has said what was inside the industrial building when it caught fire – or what Evansville residents were breathing. On Saturday, however, the Evansville Fire Department (EFD) encouraged people living in the immediate area to keep their windows and doors sealed.

“This smoke is not healthy to breathe,” EFD Mike Larson said. Nearby residents reported seeing huge chunks of ash falling from the sky onto their properties.

Videos of the fire show the warehouse walls collapsing, and scenes of transformers and powerlines catching fire.

Local, state, and federal offices have responded to the scene, including EFD, the Evansville Police Department; the Evansville-Vanderburgh Emergency Management Agency; the Indiana State Fire Marshal; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Tow trucks were brought in to remove semi-truck trailers filled with plastic pellets to avoid spreading the fire. Other crews worked to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby businesses.

There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire was reported to be an electrical accident.

In December 2022, Risk Logic documented three warehouse fires. If you own a warehouse, please contact Risk Logic for a Property Loss Prevention Inspection.   We respond to inspection submission requests within 24 hours. Our pricing typically beats our competitors by 25% or more, and we have expertise in all high-challenge occupancies.