Investigation begins into 'Oreilly fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Investigation begins into 'Oreilly fire

Investigators are filtering through debris trying to find out what caused a massive fire at an East Texas auto parts store. The fire raged inside 'Oreilly auto parts for over 5 hours, well into the evening. Leaving firefighters only to wait.

"We kept firefighters all night, we're still on scene. We're starting our investigation portion of it," says Longview fire marshal Johnny Zachary.  

What kept the fire burning furiously was a building full of combustible products. Particularly dangerous to firefighters were products such as shocks , which are under compression. And once they explode , they become projectiles.

"There are cases where firefighter responders have been injured by shock absorbers. A lot of cylinders that were exploding during the fire. We had one firefighter that sustained injuries. He's doing well," Zachary says.  

Another factor that didn't help firefighters: The building had no sprinkler system.

"This building is well insulated, it has two layers of sheet rock so the fire was like being in an oven. When you don't have a building sprinkler with this size , with this much combustibles it sets the firefighters up for failure, because there's just way more fire than you can fight. They had to leave the building for a period of time so we could gain control of the scene," he says.

Fire investigators say the monetary loss to the 'Oreilly location could run well into the millions.

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