OVERTON, TX (KLTV) - An early morning fire destroyed over 40 years of research.
Five local fire departments responded to the blaze at a storage building at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Overton on Friday.
"We made entry and determined that it was a contents fire in the south side of the building," said David Gerald, a captain with the Overton Fire Department. "We were able to save all the equipment and get it out of the building."
For some of the most valuable items, it was too late.
"We had some soil samples in here and some forage samples," said Gary Hunt, a research technician at the center. "That seventies gone now."
One of the many things stored in this building was research dating back to the 70s about different grasses and how cattle respond to it.
"You like to keep some of that stuff in case you want to revisit something," said research technician, Kyle Turner. "Somebody can't come up to me off the street and say, 'I don't trust your data.' Well, this is what the data shows. It's right here in these filing cabinets."
Turner said now they don't have that proof, but that won't stop the center's research efforts.
"It's hard to talk to you about all of the hundreds of man hours I put in just to show up to work this morning and watch it burn," Turner said. "But I'll be at work on Monday."
Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries and have since been released from medical care. The cause of the fire is under investigation.