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Massive Herbert Street fire fenced off

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 9:13 am

Fort Wayne firefighters have left the scene of a massive east central fire that began Monday afternoon as cleanup continues at the site. Fences now surround the debris of six warehouses destroyed along with their contents in a fire spotted at 2:20 p.m. Monday.

Nearly 50 firefighters worked throughout the day before getting the blaze in the 1200 block of Herbert Street under control at 8:26 p.m. Monday. The blaze sent a plume of black smoke that people in Ohio reported seeing. Some firefighters stayed over the next two days to ensure the blaze didn't reignite. Neighborhood Code Enforcement was on the scene Wednesday afternoon.

The fire department did not return calls Wednesday for comment about the status of the site. A spokeswoman previously said the investigation into the cause of the blaze will take some time.

Much of the warehouse space was used for storage, but lawn care and auto repair businesses also operated in the complex east of the city's downtown.

John Allen told our media partner, WANE, NewsChannel 15, the fire destroyed all his tools and equipment for his car repair shop and that cars belonging to him and a customer were destroyed.

WANE reported Wednesday that Ron Privett, assistant chief of operations with the Fort Wayne Fire Department, said Neighborhood Code will ultimately hand the property back to its owners. The owners will be responsible for the costs of cleanup.