COLUMBUS, Indiana — Massive damage at the Carpet Mania building may mean investigators will never know the exact cause of a fire that caused an estimated $2 million in structural and content damage to a store and adjacent businesses on the near north side of Columbus.

“There’s a 50-50 chance that the fire will remain listed as undetermined,” Columbus Fire Department spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson said Thursday as fire investigators began sifting through the rubble.

Columbus firefighters continued to pour water on the fire Thursday morning as a backhoe moved debris at the site, which gave inspectors a chance to examine potential evidence in their efforts to determine a cause, Wilson said.

The fire was initially reported at 12:25 p.m. Wednesday at 10th Street and Michigan Avenue, and became a four-alarm blaze through Wednesday night.

Carpet Mania and fitness center DeathProof Crossfit — formerly known as CrossFit Retaliation — were destroyed, Wilson said. While a firewall prevented flames from reaching a third business, expensive equipment inside Advantage One Imaging Center, Inc. suffered substantial water damage, Wilson said.

Preliminary structural damage estimates for all three combined are just above $1 million, while damage to contents and equipment could another $1 million to the financial loss of the three businesses, Wilson said.

 

Read more in Friday’s print edition of The Republic.

 

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.