Contractor attempts improper controlled-burn of Victoria County house

Firefighters stand near a Victoria County house that was improperly burned by a contractor Tuesday night.

A hired contractor attempted an improper controlled-burn to demolish an abandoned house in Victoria County Tuesday, authorities said.

At 5:48 p.m., responders were called to 131 Hilltop Dr. near SH 185 to what was thought to be a house fire, said Richard Castillo, the Victoria County fire marshal.

The property was recently purchased by someone out of town, he said, and they hired a contractor to demolish the dwelling.

When the owner called ahead Tuesday morning to inform the office of the controlled burn, Castillo said they thought it was to dispose of brush.

“I think they figured it would just be a run-of-the-mill brush fire,” he said. “Did not know they had planned on disposing of the abandoned house.”

He said the house has been abandoned for many years and was already partially demolished. However, Castillo said the house could not be demolished with a controlled burn.

“First, it was too dark. These burns have to happen in the daylight,” he said. “Also, any sort of copper wiring, plastics, roofing, asphalts — most all materials except for the wooden structure — has to be removed.”

Castillo did not issue a citation to the contactor.

“It was just a misunderstanding,” he said.

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Breaking News & Public Safety Reporter

"I am a North Texas native who has a passion for storytelling. Having graduated from Texas State University in May 2020, I am privileged to work with the Advocate staff and contribute to their tireless effort to inform the communities of the Crossroads."

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