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Police and fire

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Fire's cause undetermined

The cause of a huge fire that destroyed an industrial complex last month east of downtown Fort Wayne will remain undetermined, city fire officials said Wednesday.

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Murua said investigators established that the blaze started in the southeast corner of the complex that's just south of the Tecumseh Street Bridge. But the damage was too extensive for investigators to pinpoint the cause, Murua said.

The Aug. 19 blaze was reported at 2:30 p.m., and it was not until nearly 8:30 p.m. that firefighters managed to bring the flames under control.

Murua said the investigation into the fire ended about a week ago. He said nothing led him to believe foul play was involved, but he could not say for sure.

The blaze burned two sprawling buildings that were used for storage and as space for businesses. Murua, who oversees fire inspections, said his department inspected the occupied commercial spaces on June 18, and no violations were found. Fire inspectors had not been in the vacant spaces, which do not require inspections, he said.

Fencing now surrounds the site, and the owners are working with Neighborhood Code Enforcement to clean up the remains of the buildings. The owners are responsible for the cleanup costs, Murua said earlier.

Property records showed that the two buildings and the land had a combined value of $133,000.

aingersoll@jg.net

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