Brownsville Investigators Believe Fire to be Arson


POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 3:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 8:16am

The abandoned building is beyond repair. Fire Marshal, Ben Nuñez, says this was no accidental fire. He says someone wanted to burn this place to the ground. The place has no hopes of being fixed. Whoever caused last night's fire made sure the place burned to pieces.

"As you can see behind me, quite a bit of damage to the apartments."

Our cameras rolled as dozens of firefighters battled the intense blaze. The Brownsville Fire Department had six units battling the flames. An aerial truck, rescue unit and four pumpers were needed to put the fire out. Officials say the fire happened around 9 last night on E 2nd and Elizabeth Streets. The buildings had been abandoned for quite some time and investigators now suspect the fire was intentionally set.

"We know that the fire started towards the rear of the structure, around the alley way and then it made its way towards the front or towards Elizabeth Street."

Isauro Martinez lives blocks away and saw the commotion last night. He didn't know what was going on so he rode his bike and brought his camera along.

"It was bad. I can show you. I filmed it."

This is what he rode into: Buildings going up in flames and electrical posts popping, creating a dangerous situation for firefighters and those who stood around to watch.

"You could see the big flames. You could feel it. It was that bad that you could feel it all the way over here."

The area is now blocked off in fear the buildings may collapse. Part of E 2nd street is closed off to traffic and both buildings are now taped off. No one is allowed to enter the premises.

If anyone has information on this fire, call the crime stopper line at: 546-8477.

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