Jan. 20--ARLINGTON -- For the second time in less than two years, the building that formerly housed Creative Arts Theatre and School has been damaged by fire, the latest being a three-alarm blaze that started early Monday.
Firefighters received a call at 2:57 a.m. that the vacant building at 1100 W. Randol Mill Road was up in flames, said Battalion Chief Wes Montgomery.
Investigators are working to determine what caused the fire, which resulted in an estimated $300,000 in damage, and could have a report by Tuesday afternoon, he said. He noted that the structure did not have gas or electricity and speculated that the blaze might have been sparked by a homeless person trying to stay warm.
"No one was found in the building, but there's a strong possibility that someone was in there that started the fire," he said.
Firefighters brought the fire under control within 42 minutes, Montgomery said, and cleared the scene at 5:49 a.m. One firefighter suffered minor burns and was treated at a hospital.
CATS Producing Director Merri Brewer and other volunteers spent part of their MLK holiday boarding up the building's windows for safety, she said.
Brewer said she doesn't think the damage will affect the potential sale of the land, which has been on the market since March 2012.
"We have classes [Monday] evening, and we will still have classes as usual," she said. "We have nothing in that building that is important to the work we are doing right now. We don't do any business there; it is simply land and a building we are selling. Our classes and mission will continue as usual. This is just a little hiccup."
This isn't the first hiccup, however.
On the evening of July 4, 2012, firefighters also responded to a three-alarm fire at the building.
CATS officials said they had been about 10 days shy of closing the deal with a prospective buyer when someone noticed smoke coming from the building at about 9 p.m.
At the time, the nonprofit was still housed in the former multistory church building, but the school was closed for the holiday. No one was injured.
It took about 2 1/2 hours for firefighters to control the fire, which caused them to evacuate the building at one point, and used two ladder trucks to attack the fire from above.
The cause of that fire was still not available Monday afternoon.
The school is now located in 602 E. South St. in Arlington.
Brewer said the after-school classes tonight will take place as usual.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST
Copyright 2014 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram