A new fire department may soon rise from the ashes of a burnt out building.
Fire totally destroyed a two-story wood frame apartment building located at 4109 Wilbarger Street early Tuesday morning, April 5. City officials had approved the purchase of the property as a possible site for a new fire station just hours earlier in a special meeting held Monday evening.
The property had been under consideration for several weeks as a possible site for a new Central Fire Station.
The apartment was totally engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 12:45 a.m. According to fire department reports, a transient staying in the building had been using candles for light. He told authorities that he woke up to find the walls and ceiling on fire. He escaped uninjured. No utilities were connected to the building.
The property was most recently the home of the Texas Trailer Park. Several abandoned mobile homes on the lot have been part of a demolition process for several weeks. A house and the apartment building were also scheduled for demolition.
High winds sent large pieces of flaming debris as well as a thick shower of embers flying across Wilbarger Street into a neighboring commercial area. The roofs of several buildings were inspected by fire officials and owners to assure the safety of the structures. Firefighters extinguished the embers landing in surrounding areas to avoid grass fires and damage to vehicles and pavement.
Fire Chief Charles Stewart said that priority was placed on protecting surrounding structures, not trying to save the burning building. He said they were on the scene for a little over two hours.
Five fire units and 28 firefighters battled the blaze.