In the span of less than three months, Evansville has experienced two large warehouse fires that sent smoke into the sky. But that is where the similarities between the pair of fires end.
Evansville Fire Department Division Chief Mike Larson has estimated the Dec. 31, 2022, fire at a warehouse in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of North Garvin Street burned approximately 260,000 square feet. While large, this fire is about 30 percent the size of October 2022’s blaze at the more than 1 million-square-foot former Servel warehouse on North Morton Avenue, which Evansville Living wrote about in the November/December 2022 issue, titled “Lost History.” Burning plastic pellets present at the Garvin Street fire produced dark smoke, but EFD was able to move more than a dozen tractor-trailers filled with 40,000 pounds of pellets away from the flames.
An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, EFD, Evansville Police Department, and Indiana State Fire Marshal determined the fire’s cause was an electrical accident. There were no injuries, but multiple residences were left without power and a METS bus route and regular street traffic were interrupted. The ATF has estimated damage to be around $20 million.
Fire engines tended to the Garvin Street blaze for at least three days. Fourteen other fire agencies from Vanderburgh, Gibson, Warrick, and Posey counties in Indiana and Henderson County in Kentucky responded, bringing tanker trucks of badly needed water to fight the blaze.