Walmart praised the quick and thorough emergency response to a massive fire that broke out at the company's Plainfield, Ind., distribution center on March 16, thanking crews for helping account for the approximately 1,000 employees inside the building at the time the fire started, according to local media reports.
"We’re thankful to local emergency crews for their quick response and for helping us account for the safety of our associates and those at the facility," the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said in a statement. "We’ll continue working with police and fire personnel and are referring all questions to them." No injuries of associates were reported from the fires; one firefighter reportedly suffered minor injuries but was treated and released.
According to the Plainfield Fire Territory and the Indianapolis Star, 24 fire departments, including the Indianapolis Fire Department, assisted in responding to the fire, which broke out about 1 p.m. local time March 16 at the 1.2-million-square-foot facility. No cause had been announced as of the morning on March 17; the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) will lead the investigation into the fire. ATF agents from Columbus, Ohio, were on the scene assisting in the emergency response on March 16, the ATF shared on Twitter.
The Plainfield Fire Territory said on Twitter that fire crews had rotated through the night to manage hot spots. The Indianapolis Star reported that Plainfield Fire Chief Brent Anderson said there were no indications that the fire was suspicious and that a lot of clothing reportedly was stored in the general area where the fire broke out.