Denison Fire Rescue officials said no one was injured Wednesday after a fire burned for hours and destroyed an unoccupied building.
Paramedic Capt. Keith Bates said fire crews were dispatched to the northwest corner of East Hull Street and South Crockett Street between 11 a.m. and noon after a Denison Police officer on patrol noticed smoke coming from the building. Bates said crews arrived within minutes of the initial report, but because the single-story building had been completely filled with stored items, officials deemed it too dangerous to enter.
“They found that it was pretty much impossible to enter the building,” Bates said. “They tried multiple ways in, but could not gain safe access. At that time, the command ordered that we not put any of our firefighters in there and that this was to be fought as a defensive attack.”
Bates said both the building’s contents and its metal exterior prevented firefighters from dousing the flames. Crews from multiple surrounding towns were called in for assistance, including Sherman, Bells, Preston and Howe. Despite falling rain, officials were unable to extinguish the fire from their defensive position and subsequently called in construction equipment to knock down the building’s walls and expose the flames.
“They actually had to start ripping the building apart,” Bates said.
Crews remained on scene for roughly four hours before the fire was finally brought under control. Bates said it is too early to identify a possible ignition source or say whether the fire was in any way suspicious.
“Due to the extent of the damage, it’s going to be difficult to determine the exact cause of it,” Bates said.
The department’s investigation remains ongoing.