LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After a day of battling a blaze that took several fire trucks and firefighters to contain, owners, employees, and customers are left picking up what's left of a local storage facility.
Customers of Angelina Storage in Lufkin were devastated to find out their belongings kept in the units were destroyed by a fire.
Around 9 a.m., the Lufkin Fire Department got a call because a customer shopping nearby saw the big blaze.
"We come out, and about the third or fourth garage down was already in flames, and there was smoke going everywhere, so we just called 911,and the fire department got here in a timely manner and got here quick and got on the job and got after it", said Steven Larsen, the general manager of Floors N More.
Upon arrival, firefighters decided they needed more help getting to the seed of the fire so a track-hoe was used.
"It's a storage building where everybody has their stuff stacked inside, so it's kind of hard for us to get to the seed of the fire and get it knocked down, so we got little track hoe out here to pull it out, and as he pulls it out the building the fire gets knocked down," said Keith Cole, the city fire marshal.
After about two hours of fighting the blaze, fire officials still don't know what ignited the fire, Cole said.
"We have no idea what may have started this fire it may be under investigation for a while," Cole said.
Pending the completion of the fire marshal's investigation, an employee told KTRE he believes a homeless man they recently asked to leave could be the one who started the fire.
They said a basket of the man's belongings are usually kept inside a storage unit, but this morning, Blake Hanes an employee of Angelina Storage said, something new happened.
"This morning, the basket was gone when he left to go to United Rentals. so on the way to United Rentals, he gets a call saying that the storage building is on fire, so it don't take a genius to figure it out that more than likely, a homeless man is the one that started this fire," Hanes said.
Blake said the owner does have insurance on this facility that will cover damages for the customers.