Plainfield, Inda. – The Walmart distribution center that caught fire on Wednesday opened in 2014 It is not owned by Walmart, but is leased from Duke Realty
The building was doing little to raise revenue for Hendrix County because Walmart was given a 10 year tax break to move to an area worth roughly $ 53 million. For 2022, that’s $ 15 million alone.
The owners of Walmart and the building still pay property taxes, but since the building is in a TIF district, the money is only in nearby areas for infrastructural investments. That means the county isn’t seeing a penny of that money.
Firefighters are still working to put out the blaze, which is still smoldering in many interior areas of the million-square-foot building. Firefighters from various departments in and around Central Indiana are working shifts to control the smoky building.
They rely on community support to provide food, water and other basic necessities so that they can continue. Volunteers and quick relief teams set up stations for firefighters to eat and drink.
“We can’t leave,” said Jerry Besler, battalion chief of the Washington Township-Avon Fire Department. “We can’t run McDonald’s and achieve anything fast. We have nowhere to go and we don’t carry those things in our equipment. So it’s amazing to have some space for us that is willing to bring us in and help us. ”
All 1,000 workers were evacuated from the building and were allowed to return to the building on Thursday afternoon to retrieve their parked cars and other personal belongings from the fire.
They did an emergency training drill a few days before the fire broke out.
“Until we came out and the black smoke came out of the roof, we thought it was a weird training,” said Mario Romero.
Air quality warnings are in effect for Hendrix, Boone, Morgan and Marion County as smoke particles are now hovering across Central Indiana.
Once all the hotspots are out, fire investigators with the Plainfield Fire Department, the ATF and the State Fire Marshal’s Office will begin searching around the building to find out how the fire started.
The post How the Walmart Warehouse Fire Affected Hendrix County first appeared on 93.1FM WIBC.