APPLE SPRINGS, TX (KTRE) - A fire destroyed the Exxon gas station in Apple Springs Thursday morning.
Trinity County Deputy Justin Sikes said the fire started around 6:30 a.m. and was burned to the ground within 20 minutes.
"I pulled up there at 5:58 a.m. and there were two ladies standing outside," Sikes said. "I was just there to get coffee before I went to work so I just drove off. Then dispatch called me and said it was smoking so I went back and sure enough it was smoking."
Sikes said Apple Springs firefighters were the first to respond, but there was not much they could do.
"One firefighter told me when it was smoking like that, it was just waiting for oxygen to ignite," Sikes said.
Sikes said the employees said they had turned the heater on Wednesday and it started smoking, but they figured that was because it had not been turned on in a while. When they turned it on Thursday morning, it started smoking again.
"I'm almost positive it was an electrical short," Sikes said.
Sikes said firefighters from Central, Groveton, Trinity, Hudson, Moffett, Rivercrest and Fuller Springs also responded to the fire.
The station was run by Polk's and also had a Subway restaurant.
Brookshire Brothers, which owns the Polk's stations, released a statement Thursday, stating they will re-build the station.
"We intend to rebuild and will offer an interim kiosk as soon as possible so that we can continue servicing this community," the statement said.
Brookshire Brothers also expressed gratitude to the responding firefighters and were grateful nobody was hurt.