Ed Ward

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Investigators from several fire departments and multiple insurance companies now say they can't tell what started a July 12 fire that torched multiple West Lafayette homes.

In a press release sent Friday morning, Wabash Township Fire Chief Ed Ward calls the investigation "exhaustive" and says some causes have been ruled out, such as a natural gas explosion.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It'll likely be at least mid-August before the cause of the fire which razed five homes in West Lafayette's Lindberg Village neighborhood is released.

Wabash Township Fire Chief Ed Ward, reached by phone Monday morning, says as many as a dozen investigators are now slated to gather on August 12 -- a full month after the fire started -- to survey the scene.

Some of those will be state and local officials, but others will represent insurance agencies for the homeowners and for businesses, such as Vectren, which supplies natural gas to the neighborhood.

Though no cause has been released, fire officials studying the blaze which leveled five homes and damaged at least three others Friday in West Lafayette say they hope it sends a message to policy-makers.

Wabash Township Fire Chief Ed Ward, whose department is leading the investigation, says the fire on Tesla Drive underscores possible unintended consequences of the area’s recent growth spurt.