IFD equipment damaged, city vehicle t-boned as drivers try to get close to warehouse fire

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A massive fire at an east side warehouse had crews blasting the blaze with water for more than 12 hours.

“The crews arrived and found this enormous building was heavily engulfed in fire,” said IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

Crews connected fire hoses to several hydrants around the warehouse to maintain the water supply.

“We had at least four lines established,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

Firefighters blocked off each line and hose to keep people from damaging their equipment but it did not work.

“We had red lights and IMPD officers at the scene but the drivers would still go around,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

Several people drove right over the fire-hoses which damaged the lines, slowed down the water supply, and wasted valuable time.

“At one point we had a driver get his car stuck on the supply line and he damaged it. Then when the crews said something to him he got out of his car and was verbally aggressive with the crews,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

On top of all of that, another driver who was trying to get close to the fire scene t-boned an IFD vehicle while a city worker was sitting inside of it.

“The man said he was not paying attention and blacked out. It was just a matter of him not paying attention,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

The driver was breathalyzed at the scene and cleared. Officials say all of this was completely avoidable if people would have just given crews space to do their job.

“It is a danger not only to the firefighters but to the civilians that may need our help and our rescue. So, take two seconds out of your day and go around,” said Battalion Chief Reith.

The people who drove over those lines could face fines. Right now, crews are working to determine the cause of the fire that caused more than $1 million in damage.

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