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Investigator: Cause of blazes may never be known

There’s one thing property owners can do that will go a long way toward solving the problem, fire marshal says
Overnight fires destroyed the former Quality Inn hotel on North Stateline Avenue and a vacant...
Overnight fires destroyed the former Quality Inn hotel on North Stateline Avenue and a vacant apartment building on West 7th Street in Texarkana, Texas. Those buildings have one thing in common, a fire investigator says.(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 4:40 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) — A fire investigator says they may never determine what caused the blazes that destroyed two structures overnight in Texarkana, Texas.

“When units arrived here, it was already going good. It went through the roof, had heavy involvement,” Fire Marshal Chris Black said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fires at the former Quality Inn hotel on North Stateline Avenue and the vacant apartment building on West 7th Street.

Overnight fires destroyed the former Quality Inn hotel on North Stateline Avenue and a vacant...
Overnight fires destroyed the former Quality Inn hotel on North Stateline Avenue and a vacant apartment building on West 7th Street in Texarkana, Texas. Those buildings have one thing in common, a fire investigator says.(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)

Those buildings have one thing in common.

“We have had a lot of homeless people staying here,” Black explained. “We’ve had issues here before. We had a fire here around Christmastime for the same deal.”

Police patrol the area. But “the people, they hide or run off then they come back,” the fire marshal said.

Authorities recently arrested several vagrants who were living in the vacant hotel; and there were signs that fires apparently had been set for warmth, Black added.

“This cold weather, vagrants, people trying to find a place to stay warm, it has been an issue with us.”

The fire marshal believes property owners can do one thing that will go a long way toward helping provide a solution. “Try to get the property owners to secure the buildings better.”

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