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100 cars involved in salvage yard fire that took nearly 3 hours to extinguish

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A fire at a west side salvage yard spread to nearly 100 vehicles Friday evening.

The Indianapolis Fire Department says crews were dispatched to the scene at 2 Little Bees Auto Parts on S. Tibbs Ave. shortly after 5 p.m. and weren’t able to mark the blaze under control until about 7:54 p.m.

It was a labor intensive to fight the fire, with 15 IFD units and seven units from the Wayne Township Fire Department working together.

IFD says the vehicles were stacked in two large piles of about 50 cars each. A 2 Little Bees forklift was utilized to remove the cars one by one for extinguishment.

Battalion Chief Rob Aldrich estimates about 100 cars were involved and the property suffered approximately $20,000 worth of damage. IFD says no injuries were reported in the incident.


“As the cars were separated and moved, crews were able to get water into the middle of the pile and into the individual cars,” said Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

The Marion County Health Department was at the scene to assess possible runoff into Little Eagle Creek, but their assessment found nothing of concern.

Investigators have ruled the fire accidental, with the cause determined to be careless use of power equipment.

IFD says a customer was using a drill to remove a car part and thrown sparks from the drill ignited nearby gasoline on the ground. The man reported the fire to employees who then tried to put the fire out – with no success. When the fire got out of control, they called 911. The customer who started the fire left the scene and did not return.

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