Arson Linked to the Fire on Austin St. - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Arson Linked to the Fire on Austin St.

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A fire that destroyed a two-story building owned by Faith Mission is now being linked to arson.

That building was used for storage on the 1200 block of Austin and 13th St.

Firefighters said it was a tough blaze to battle. In fact, they had to use 100 times the amount of water they normally use.

“When we have fires like this that are caused by criminal activity it causes us to expend the water that we don't have to use,” said Wichita Falls Fire Chief, Jon Reese.

Chief Reese said when a fire is intentionally set it's considered a second degree felony but fire fighter Tyler Blevins sustained minor burns to his hands and legs while fighting the flames. Chief Reese said that makes it a first degree felony.

Steve Sparks, the Executive Director at Faith Mission said someone tried to burn the building down the night before on the back porch. Fire fighters extinguished the fire but Sparks believes someone came back to finish the job.


 “We found some evidence of beer bottles with gasoline soaked rags inside of them and they had tried to set the building on fire the night before.”

Sparks said a group of boys skate boarding nearby saw the flames and called the fire dept. He says he does not have any reason to believe that anyone did this to get back at Faith Mission.

Chief Reese says the fire is still under investigation and says there's a possibility that the two fires are related.

Brody Carter, Newchannel 6