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Efforts to quell blaze at former outlet mall in Texarkana stretch into the next day

Fire officials say they may never determine what sparked it
"Since the building partially collapsed and we are tearing it down, it will be difficult to...
"Since the building partially collapsed and we are tearing it down, it will be difficult to investigate and have a final determination of the cause," said Fire Marshal Chris Black, of the Texarkana, Texas, Fire Department.(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:05 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) — Texarkana, Texas, fire officials say they may never determine the cause of a blaze that razed a former outlet mall.

“We are trying to conduct an investigation as best we can,” said Fire Marshal Chris Black, of the Texarkana, Texas, Fire Department. “But since the building partially collapsed and we are tearing it down, it will be difficult to investigate and have a final determination of the cause.”

Firefighters on Tuesday, Jan. 11 still were trying to douse the massive fire that started the previous evening and destroyed two large buildings in the 2600 block of New Boston Road.

“It is definitely the largest we have had in the most recent history for us,” Black said.

RELATED VIDEO: Blaze razes former outlet mall in Texarkana, Texas

The blaze started just after 6 p.m. Monday. That’s when people first noticed smoke coming from one of the buildings. The inside of the structures were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

“We had no reason to believe anybody was in there. No type of lifesaving was needed, all property,” the fire marshal explained. “So we didn’t want to risk the lives of our guys by going in there on that, so we set up as a defensive fire.”

RELATED VIDEO: Texarkana building fire under investigation

The 75,000 square feet of space once was home of the Great American Flea Market but had been vacant for 10 years, Black said.

“There were boxes and boxes of stuff. I don’t know if it was left over when the Alamo was there or somebody stored stuff there, but it definitely had a lot of stuff in those buildings.”

All Texarkana, Texas, fire units answered the call and were assisted by Texarkana, Ark., and other area fire departments.

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