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Warehouse fire erupts in southeast Victoria (w/video)

By Elena Watts
May 3, 2014 at 12:03 a.m.
Updated May 4, 2014 at 12:04 a.m.

Victoria Fire Department firefighters battle a fire at a commercial structure in the 700 block of East Stayton Avenue in Victoria. No injuries were reported in the fire that rendered the 15,000 square foot commercial structure a total loss on Saturday afternoon.

Amanda Longoria, 24, and Amanda Martinez, 27, heard an explosion at 4 p.m. Saturday followed by a popping sound. They sensed a serious problem.

Victoria firefighters soon knocked on their door, instructing the women to leave their residence until the fire across the street was under control.

A burning warehouse in the 700 block of East Stayton Avenue in southeast Victoria produced thick, black, billowing smoke that stopped traffic, attracting the attention of passers-by.

"I saw the smoke from the Victoria Mall," said Greg Najvar, a firefighter for the city of Katy who lives in Victoria. "You know it's big when you can see it all the way across town."

Eleven fire department vehicles responded to the emergency, including both ladder trucks, said Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Fox.

"It's going to be a long day for these firefighters," Najvar said. "With a tin structure, it melts, falls in, and they can't get water to it; they'll have to pull the tin away."

The fire was contained to the structure, but the contents of the 15,000-square-foot commercial warehouse were a total loss, Fox said.

No injuries were reported.

The warehouse, with an office that doubled as someone's residence, contained welding equipment, tires and other hydrocarbons that produced the black smoke, Fox said. The scene was expected to take several hours to clear. The fire remains under investigation.

It was unknown whether the structure was insured. The owner of the building is listed as Amador Deluna, according to the Victoria Central Appraisal District's website, who could not be reached for comment.

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