ATF done with investigation at site of Walmart warehouse fire | ICIN

An EPA spokesperson tells 13 Investigates that five debris samples tested for asbestos all came back negative.

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — While the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team is still investigating the fire at the Walmart fulfillment center in Plainfield, its work at the site is complete.

The ATF team will continue to make itself available if investigators need experts, such as a chemist, weighing in on something.

The ATF investigation will not look at the actions of firefighters or whether water was turned off to the fire suppression system in that part of the warehouse. It will instead focus solely on the origin and cause of the fire.

An ATF spokesperson tells 13News that findings of the investigation will likely be released by local investigators. Originally, it was said that a determination of the fire could take weeks or months.

RELATED: Job fair this week for workers at Plainfield Walmart warehouse destroyed by fire

13News has also followed up with the EPA on debris samples and air monitoring related to the fire.

An EPA spokesperson tells 13 Investigates that five debris samples were taken and tested for asbestos. All testing came back with no detection of asbestos in the samples.

At the time of the fire, experts gave 13 Investigates the following advice for homeowners on cleaning up debris:

“Everyone’s been wearing your COVID mask. Just put on your COVID mask and put on some latex or nitrile gloves and just pick it up, put in a trash bag and dispose of it in your regular trash. That will be perfectly fine,” said Brownsburg fire marshal Steve Jones, who has been in the fire service for nearly 40 years.

The EPA has preliminary data on air monitoring measurements but plans to publish a document with final data in several weeks.

The March 16 fire at the facility destroyed the fulfillment center, which is located at 9590 Allpoints Pkwy., near Ronald Reagan Parkway and East County Road 100 South. 

All of the 1,000 Walmart employees escaped the fire. 

RELATED: Firefighters turned off part of sprinkler system at Plainfield Walmart fulfillment center

Plainfield Fire Department Chief Brent Anderson said the fire suppression system at the facility was working correctly at the time firefighters arrived. At some point, a decision was made by firefighters to turn off the “riser” to the affected area. The riser is a component of the fire suppression system that supplies water to the sprinklers in different areas.

The overall system was kept on, but the sprinkler system in the area where the fire began was turned off. Anderson said additional details on fire response strategies and techniques will be discussed at a later date, in terms of what did or did not happen.

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