Fire guts commercial structure near downtown Fort Wayne

Local News

Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) — A building inside an old industrial complex caught fire Thursday morning, sending a plume of smoke high into the sky that was visible for more than 20 miles.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department was called around 7:30 a.m. Thursday to 405 River Bend Court on a report of a fire. That’s northwest of the intersection of East Berry Street and North Anthony Boulevard, and adjacent to Fair Play Volleyball sand courts.

Multiple fire crews were sent to the scene, and crews arrived to find heavy smoke and flames visible. A fire department spokesman said firefighters struggled to get a water supply to the area, where only one hydrant was accessible, and had to stop trains to get a hose across nearby tracks.

The fire was eventually deemed under control by 10:20 a.m.

The building houses TekVenture, described as a “public art & technology laboratory” on the company’s website. An owner told WANE 15 there was maker items including 3D printing machines and ceramic creation tools inside.

The fire appeared to be focused in an auto shop but spread to the TekVenture space, fire officials said.

It’s in an area with several vacant and dilapidated buildings. In October of 2013 a vacant building in the same area caught fire and investigators were never able to determine a cause.

The fire has also apparently resulted in a power outage in the area. I&M reports more than 1,000 customers are without electricity of as 7:52 a.m. The company’s outage map indicates an estimated restoration time of 12:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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No additional information has been released at this time.

WANE 15 has a crew on the way. Check back for updates to this developing story.

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