Investigation underway into business fire

Jon Wilcox By Jon Wilcox

Sept. 12, 2017 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Sept. 13, 2017 at 6:21 a.m.

A firefighter works to extinguish a fire in the 4700 block of North Vine Street early Tuesday.

A firefighter works to extinguish a fire in the 4700 block of North Vine Street early Tuesday.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

Fire investigators spent almost nine hours Tuesday at a Victoria concrete business that burned before sunrise, narrowing but not determining the blaze's cause.

"We are looking at a wall shared by two portions of the building, going through a significant number of sources of ignition and trying to pinpoint the area," said Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler.

Investigators used burn patterns and videos uploaded to Facebook to make that determination, he said.

Firefighters arrived at Texas Concrete, 4702 N. Vine St., at 2:02 a.m. - about eight minutes after the fire was reported - to find flames erupting from a large workshop on the property, said Assistant Fire Chief Shannon Martin.

Representatives from Texas Concrete did not return numerous phone calls requesting comment.

That fire caused moderate to severe damage to the building, which contained several workshops, a variety of industrial equipment and tools as well as tires, Legler said.

Those tires, he said, likely contributed to thick, black smoke that poured from the building's open doors, causing significant damage.

Restoring the building's electrical system, which was crippled by the fire, will likely pose a significant hurdle in returning the building to working condition, Legler said.

While Legler said he had no estimate for when his office might conclude its investigation, much work remained to be done.

Investigators are evaluating photos taken at the scene, following up on interviews, building a timeline and checking security camera footage.

Legler said he also was waiting for a determination of whether Texas Concrete's camera footage remained undamaged and viewable.

"We are still trying to figure that out," he said.


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