18-wheeler blowout leads to blaze at US 59 liquor store

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An 18-wheeler blowout led to a fire at Hill's Liquors and Drive Thru on U.S. 59 in Nacogdoches County Thursday morning.

This is the 911 call that sent seven different fire crews to a fire at Hill's Liquors and Drive Thru.

Operator: "911."

Driver: "Yes I'm in Lufkin on Highway 59."

Operator: "Are you going towards Lufkin or towards Nacogdoches?"

Driver: "I'm going towards umm Nacogdoches on the north bound side and my tire just came off and it flew into a liquor store and it's on fire."

No one was inside the building when the blaze started. However, it was still frightening for the liquor store owner when he received a call from the alarm company.

"I hope it was not major, but I came here and was disappointed that it was real, real bad," Leng Teng, the store's owner said.

The damage was minimal, but it's what started the blaze that gives the incident a huge twist. The 18-wheeler lost its right front tire. It struck the electrical box on the side of the building and started the blaze.

According to the 18-wheeler's driver, he was heading back from dropping off a load in Lufkin and was heading home to Louisiana. He claimed the tire was just put on last week.

Area firefighters were about to put the fire out before it spread to the alcohol.

"The fire fighters got here and put a very quick stop on it and contained it to the building and structural elements," Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger said.

After surveying the damage to his store, Teng said he is unsure when he will be able to reopen.

"We got to close it up," Teng said. He added it may be about two weeks before he reopens. However, he hopes to be back in business in time for the holidays.

In all seven area fire departments assisted with containing the blaze. In addition to the Nacogdoches Fire Department, the others were the Lake Nacogdoches, South Nacogdoches, Redland/Rivercrest, Melrose, Ora, and Loco Valley volunteer fire departments.

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