Burkburnett blaze creates challenges for Volunteer Fire Department

BURKBURNETT, TX (KAUZ) - Firefighters in Burkburnett said there were challenges to Tuesday night's fire downtown.

What is left of the 90-year-old building downtown is a pile of rubble.

The evidence of the fire is charred on the side of the building.

Fire crews worked through the night to put out the flames, and faced challenges along the way.

"We knew we had something going pretty quick. We could actually see smoke as we were approaching the scene," said Rodney Ryalls, Fire Chief for the Burkburnett volunteer fire department.

One of those challenges is the structure of the building itself.

"By the arch and the structure itself that is known to be a failure once you start getting fire up in there. You get one piece of that failing and that entire structure will start to collapse," Said Ryalls.

Chief Ryalls said normally in structures with roofs like that, it can be dangerous for firefighters because it could collapse at any time.

"We're certainly cautious of it. (We) make sure of what's going on and not putting anybody under that, what's going to be involved in that situation," said Ryalls.

Another road block included the chemicals inside the building.

Ryalls said that this progressed the fire.

"It created a challenge on our part to make sure that we weren't involved in those...we had those. we started to identify them start to control any runoff of the water that we are putting on the fire at that point," said Ryalls.

While Chief Ryalls does admit this was a large fire, Ryalls said his team was ready.

"Most firefighters will go over areas in their mind, in their community time and time again, and that just kind of fit into place last night," said Ryalls.

Chief Ryalls said the building was used mostly for storage, however, it has not been determined if the building is destroyed.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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