Donna Abandoned Warehouse Fire

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 9:27pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am

With the dry weather conditions, Fire crews in Hidalgo County kept busy for days -- battling one fire after another.
Today a grass fire in Donna, burned an old abandoned warehouse to ashes -- and crews spent the day fighting the the flames.
Donna Fire crews say around Four this afternoon, a small grass fire erupted into a major warehouse fire.
Little explosions from chemicals, could even be heard by nearby homeowners...
For hours, firefighters gave this fire a water beat-down.
"The flames were pretty high, they were real high."
When Albert Alcantar heard about the fire, he rushed to check on his family who live on FM 493, neart Stites road.
He says this inferno scared him.
"They could've just jumped over to my mother-in-law's place."
Emergency Management Coordinator for Weslaco and Donna, George Garrett says the fire started in a grassy area around this abandoned home, then kept on moving.
"Due to wind conditions and dry grass it spread into an abandoned warehouse."
And for awhile, Garrett says, they were worried if anything toxic could've been inside.
"We don't know what was in the warehouse, so we were concerned about the smoke that was coming off the fire, not knowing what the contents were."
Garrett says the air's now safe to breathe.
When fighting a powerful fire like this one, safety always comes first, that's why no firefighter goes into the fight those flames without their scba face masks on.
"We just wanted to make sure citizens were safe and that the firefighters were safe."
Luckily they put it out, it took several fire departments to put it out.
Garrett says, the warehouse is a complete loss and the nearby abandoned home was damaged.
Tonight, as firefighters walked out of the thick cloud of smoke, Garrett says this fire should serve as a lesson for valley residents.
"It's very very dry out if you start a fire, even if you think you can control it with a water hose, they spread rapidly it can cost you your home or even your life very quickly."
The cause of this blaze is still under investigation by the hidalgo county Fire marshal.

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