Sherman Fire-Rescue officials said dozens of storage units were damaged Thursday night after a fire broke out at a self-storage complex.
Division Chief and Fire Marshal Danny Fuller said crews were dispatched to the Devon Self Storage complex in the 1700 block of Loy Lake Road shortly before 9 p.m. upon receiving reports of heavy smoke and flames coming from the facility. Fuller said no injuries were reported and an initial review of the scene indicated that the fire likely started in a single, central unit before it spread outward in both directions.
“There were 55 units that were smoke damaged,” Fuller said. “Somewhere from 10 to 12 units had contents which were fire damaged.”
Fuller said the fire appeared to have been burning for more than 15 minutes before it was called in, but could not be more specific. The fire official said the initial delay and the logistics of accessing dozens of individual storage units made for a longer and more complex attack against the fire.
“With that many doors and locks, it impedes the access somewhat,” Fuller said. “We have tools and equipment to breach those, but we always try to approach it in a way where we do as little damage as possible.”
The building materials, Fuller said, also contributed to the extensive smoke damage.
“In the terminology that we use, it didn't vent,” Fuller said of the smoke and flames. “The metal walls contained the flames. It's not like a wood-structure fire where the flames burn through and let out. It all stayed inside. That was a big part of why so many units were smoke damaged.”
Fire crews from Denison, Whitesboro and Pottsboro also provided assistance and Fuller said crews remained at the scene until shortly after midnight. Fuller said facility employees projected a considerable loss.
“The people on scene from the company are evidently claiming there's going to be $500,000 or so of damage,” Fuller said. “I don't know how they arrive at that number, but that's what they're saying.”
Fuller said the units were connected to electrical sources, but only for security and lighting, and could not be used by leasees. The cause of the fire remains under investigation
“I'm not viewing it as suspicious, but I have not ruled that out completely and won't until I'm done talking to everybody and reviewing video from the business,” Fuller said.