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Investigators say no cause found for fire that destroyed five homes

Four other homes damaged in July 12 blaze
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Posted at 3:39 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 15:39:49-04

WEST LAFAYETTE—We may never know what caused a fire that destroyed five homes and damaged four others in West Lafayette, July 12.

An investigation by the Wabash Township Fire Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office lists the cause as "undetermined."

Wabash Township Fire Chief Ed Ward says an "exhaustive investigation has taken place in an attempt to determine the cause and origin of the fire."

"While it was determined that the fire originated at 3681 Tesla Drive, at this time, the fire is being classified as an undetermined cause with our agency and with the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office. There is currently no criminal investigation taking place regarding the incident," said Ward.

Five fire departments battled the afternoon fire in the 3600 block of Tesla Drive. The blaze spread quickly among the modern homes leading to speculation that a gas explosion was the case. Not so, says Chief Ward. "Extensive testing has been completed on the natural gas lines in the area if the incident, and all have determined to be in normal operating condition," he said.

There were no injuries among the residents who lost their homes and the firefighters.