Crews work to determine cause of apartment fire in southern Indi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Crews work to determine cause of apartment fire in southern Indiana

Posted: Updated:
Downtown New Albany street closures for cleanup Downtown New Albany street closures for cleanup

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The New Albany Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at the Breakwater Apartments in downtown New Albany early Saturday morning. 

Officials say a call about the fire was received at 5:11 a.m. in the 400 block of East Spring Street at the new apartment complex.

Officials say it was a four-alarm fire and 88 firefighters responded to the scene.

Investigators believe the fire started on the third floor in a corner apartment. 

The complex is under construction and no one was inside when the flames broke out.

Officials say several fire departments provided assistance to New Albany firefighters.

Wind and weather conditions made it more difficult to get the fire under control, according to authorities. 

No injuries have been reported.

Officials are working to determine what caused the fire.

“We’ve had total collapse of a portion of the building and the roof to the third, second floors so it more than likely [will] be a total loss. That will be up to the insurance and property managers to decide,” said Chief Matthew Juliot of the New Albany Fire Department.

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan released a statement Saturday afternoon thanking the crews who were still on scene: 

"Since 5:30 am, New Albany firefighters have been battling a fire at The Breakwater, a new downtown development that is currently under construction. They have been joined by the city of Jeffersonville, the town of Clarksville, and the town of Georgetown. I am happy to report no injuries have been reported. I’d like to thank New Albany firefighters for their dedication and determination. We certainly appreciate our neighboring communities for their assistance. More details will be available at 2:30pm."

- New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan

A press conference was held with the developers of the complex Saturday afternoon. 

Flaherty & Collins Properties, the property's developer, says the $26.5 million complex sustained damages to an unfinished building on the lot. 

“Fortunately, as the B building was not yet complete and unoccupied, no one was injured,” said Michael Collins, Regional Property Manager for Flaherty & Collins Properties. “We want to thank the New Albany Fire Department and other local fire departments who are providing help for their steadfast efforts. We will certainly work diligently to fix the damage to the building.”

- Michael Collins, Regional Property Manager, Flaherty & Collins Properties

Developers say the building houses 125 of the 191 total units in the complex.

"There were no sprinklers on, which was to code because the building was incomplete and had not yet been issued a certificate of occupancy," Collins said. 

Developers say the complex is insured and they will work to begin rebuilding as soon as possible. 

According to the New Albany Police Department, several emergency traffic restrictions were put into place throughout the afternoon into the evening while crews worked to clear the area.

East Elm between east 4th Street and east 5th Street will be closed to traffic, including the sidewalk on the south side of East Elm Street. 

East 4th Street between East Elm Street and East Spring Street is closed for traffic, including the side walk on the east side of east 4th Street. 

East Spring Street between 7th Street and Bank Street will stay closed until all apparatus and gear are safely removed from the scene, police say. 

We will provide updates as soon as they become available. 

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