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Multi-house fire on South Wickens Street from Sept. 21 under investigation



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Firefighters use firefighting foam on one of the houses damaged in the fire on S. Wickens St. last week. Residents first reported the fire the afternoon of Sept. 21. Jacob deCastro

The Monroe Fire Protection District is still investigating a Sept. 21 house fire on South Wickens Street that caused damage to four other homes. Investigators have pointed to the air conditioning unit at 3533 S. Wickens St. as a possible cause for the start of the fire, according to a post from the MFPD Facebook page.  

Fire officials believe the fire spread from the original house at 3533 S. Wickens St. to two other nearby houses and damaged the siding on two others. The homes, while built to code, do not provide much fire protection to stop the spread from one house to another, the post said. 

Emergency services were not contacted until about10 minutes after the fire started, according to witnesses’ videos and photographs.

Melissa Chestnut, a neighbor of the affected residents, told the IDS on Sept. 21 at the scene that she saw flames on the side of the first house near the air conditioning unit and meters. Investigators will look further into it, but new information about the air conditioner may not be found for months.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and private insurance companies are investigating in addition to members of the Monroe County Fire Investigator Task Force, according to the post.

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