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Cause of several Monroe County house fires still undetermined, under investigation

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Posted at 1:57 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 13:14:27-04

BLOOMINGTON — Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of several house fires on Sept. 21 in Monroe County.

Monroe Fire Protection public information officer Jason Allen said three houses on South Wickens Street on the south side of Bloomington were involved with heavy fire damage. One other house sustained minor damage.

Based on witness statements and evidence, investigators believe the fire burned for ten minutes before emergency personnel were notified, according to a press release. Around the time fire departments were dispatched to the scene, a small explosion was captured on video.

"Investigators cannot rule out the involvement of an air condensing unit located on the north side of the initial fire," the release read.

The fire is believed to have spread to other houses because of how close the houses are and construction methods, according to the release.

"While the homes were built to meet code, they provide very minimal protection from the horizontal spread of fire into attic space from adjoining structures," the release read.

Allen said no injuries were reported as a result of the fires. The cause of the fires is still undetermined and under investigation.

The Monroe County Fire Investigator Task Force, Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office, and private insurance companies are investigating, according to the release.

PHOTOS | Firefighters battle several house fires near Bloomington

WRTV's Andrew Smith broadcast live on Facebook from the scene earlier Monday. Watch video of the stream below.