WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Fire Department continues to investigate the cause of an early morning fire that caused well over $100,000 in damaged and sent a firefighter to the hospital.

Jody Ashlock, WFFD’s Assistant Fire Marshal, said firefighters were notified of a structure fire in the 1800 block of East Fort Worth Street around 12:30 a.m. on Friday, May 20, 2022.

The structure was the former home of a local cabinet business, Jack’s Cabinet Shop.

When crews arrived at the scene, they said there was a large single story metal building at this address with heavy fire and smoke showing.

The WFFD battalion chief on the scene upgrade the fire to a two-alarm fire, requesting additional support from the fire department.

Once the firetruck was connected to a water supply, the battalion chief ordered firefighters out of the building so the truck could extinguish the fire from above.

After a bulk of the fire was extinguished from above, hand lines were deployed and firefighters began fighting the fire inside the structure once again.

Ashlock said it took approximately an hour to extinguish the fire, with an additional four hours spent searching the structure for hot spots and extinguishing small fires in hidden areas.  

According to the fire report, the owner of the structure was using it to store vehicles and repair them after closing Jack’s Cabinet Shop.

Ashlock said the structure had ten vehicles and one motorcycle inside, along with storage of personal items, tools, household appliances, and remnants of wood from the previous occupant.

The vehicles were all heavily damaged or destroyed by the fire.

The damage to the structure is estimated at $35,000.00. The damage to the contents is estimated at $100,00.00.

Ashlock said one firefighter went to United Regional to be evaluated for heat exhaustion. They were treated and released.

According to Ashlock, no other injuries were reported on scene by occupants, bystanders, or firefighters.

Ashlock said Oncor was called to the scene but it was determined there was no power to the structure prior to the fire. The occupants of the structure had been using batteries, inverters, and generators for power. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

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