AVON, Ind. -- A fire burning at Walmart distribution center near Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon is sending out a smoke plume so large, it can be seen from space.
NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite, situated over 22,000 miles above Earth, spotted the plume blowing north from the fire site in Avon on the outskirts of Indianapolis. Smoke is visible throughout Indianapolis, according to FOX 59 News in Indianapolis.
No one was injured and all the roughly 1,000 Walmart employees have been accounted for, according to Plainfield Fire Territory Chief Brent Anderson.
The fire began on the third-floor mezzanine of the massive building and quickly spread, overwhelming firefighters, according to Anderson.
"(The fire) grew exponentially when we got here," Anderson said.
Firefighters quickly evacuated the building and are fighting the fire defensively -- a fight that will likely last into Thursday, Anderson said.
"We're going to be here for quite some time," Anderson said, adding it may take as long as 24 hours to fully extinguish the blaze. Around a dozen fire agencies are working to battle the fire.
In the meantime, Anderson is advising those to the north of the fire where the smoke plume is drifting to shelter in place. Air quality monitoring teams here heading to the scene.
Anderson said it's too early to know what started the fire or what exactly is burning inside.
"It's a Walmart distribution center; the best I can tell you is if you can think of it, it's probably in there," Anderson told reporters.
But while many have reported hearing explosions, Anderson said tires on semi-trucks parked along the burning building are overheating and rupturing.