“”FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Chief Dustin Dillard
South Wickens Street Fire – UPDATE
Monroe County, Indiana, September 21, 2020 – The investigation into the multiple residence fire on South Wickens Street continues. Over a dozen investigators have completed interviews, scene analysis and evidence collection in the days following Monday’s structure fires. Members of the Monroe County Fire Investigator Task Force, Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and private insurance companies continue to collect information from witnesses and the scene.
Witness statements and evidence at the scene indicate the fire likely began on the north side, exterior of the residence at 3533 South Wickens Street. Videos and photographs obtained from witnesses show the fire burned approximately ten minutes before it was noticed and emergency crews notified. A small explosion was captured in the audio of a video at 1:06 pm, the same time fire crews were being dispatched.
Investigators cannot rule out the involvement of an air condensing unit located on the north side of the initial fire. The unit will be analyzed further and additional information could take months to receive.
The rapid spread of the fire is being contributed to the proximity of the structures and the building methods utilized in construction. While the homes were built to meet code, they provide very minimal protection from the horizontal spread of fire into attic space from adjoining structures.
This investigation will continue and the cause of the blaze is still undetermined.