Texarkana, TX auto paint and repair shop destroyed in blaze - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Investigators blame blaze at Texarkana auto shop on torch

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TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

Texarkana fire investigators say they have pinpointed the cause of the blaze that destroyed an auto paint and repair shop in downtown Texarkana Thursday afternoon.

Units from both sides of the state line were called to the scene in the 500 block of W. 7th St. just before 2 p.m., and found the commercial building fully engulfed in flames. 

Texarkana, TX Fire Chief Erick Schlotter says the building was being used as an auto body shop, which contained tanks of oxygen acetylene and nitrous oxide. Several small explosions were reported. Those explosions, along with the heavy smoke, forced the evacuation of the Bowie County Tax and District Attorney's offices across the street. 

Part of the building collapsed and at one point, crew members had to pull back for their own safety.

Everyone got out safely and there were no reports of any injuries. The owner of the building says there were 3 race cars and at least 2 other cars inside the building.

Fire investigators believe one of the workers was using one of the cutting torches when some material on the floor caught fire, which spread to a car and burned out of control.

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