Browse Grant Fire
November 5, 1973
picture by Robert E. Lowe
The fire that started at the Grant Building on East Washington Street was one of the largest and costliest fires in terms of property damage ever fought by the Indianapolis Fire Department. In all, the fire spread to 15 buildings and caused millions of dollars worth of damages.
Despite the immense scope of the fire in a heavily populated downtown area, there were no serious injuries. The Grant Building was unoccupied at the time and was scheduled for demolition. It is believed that propane tanks located on the fourth floor which were supposed to be used in the planned razing of the building were the source of the fire.
The blaze quickly spread from the Grant Building to the nearby Thomas Building and destroyed it as well. There was serious damage to the Merchants National Bank Building, Kirk Furniture, Washington Tower Apartments, and Richmond Brothers before the fire was brought under control.
The Indianapolis Firefighters Museum collection was made possible by a partnership of the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum, the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, and IUPUI University Library and generous funding from the Central Indiana Community Foundation.