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Burnet business burns in large blaze; investigation underway

Reagor building fire in Burnet

Burnet area fire departments battled a fire at Reagor Air Conditioning on U.S. 281 on Monday, Dec. 5. The fire has since been brought under control. No injuries were reported. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

A large fire consumed the Reagor Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electric building at 300 U.S. 281 North in Burnet on Monday, Dec. 5. The fire was reported at 3 p.m. Multiple area departments responded to the call and had the blaze under control by 5 p.m. but continued working the scene into Monday night and Tuesday morning. 

Local and state fire marshals are investigating the fire. No injuries were reported.

Determining what caused the fire could take weeks, Burnet Fire Marshal John Erskine said

“We won’t have any kind of hypothesis until we start going through the rubble,” he told DailyTrib.com at the scene Monday.

Reagor building fire in Burnet
A Burnet volunteer firefighter gears up before heading back into the blaze. Staff photo by Daktoa Morrissiey

Dozens of firefighters from the Burnet Fire Department, Burnet Volunteer Fire Department, and Bertram Volunteer Fire Department battled the blaze. Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services was on standby in case of injuries. 

“It’s pretty good teamwork we have here in (Burnet County),” said Burnet Fire Department Chief Mark Ingram. “There is no department here that is big enough to handle a fire like this by themselves, so we count on each other for mutual aid.”

He said it was a serious, large structure fire by Burnet County standards.

Reagor building fire in Burnet
Burnet area firefighters attempted to subdue the fire from the exterior, which was made difficult by the Reagor building’s stone walls. Pressurized tanks of propane and freon were in the structure, making it too dangerous to enter. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Fire Marshal Erskine said firefighters fought the blaze from the exterior rather than going inside because no one was reported to be in the building and in immediate danger. Leaders also learned the building most likely contained pressurized tanks of propane and Freon, which would have been a major hazard to any first responder entering the structure.

The building’s metal roof and stone walls made fighting the fire difficult because they blocked water and flame retardant, Erskine said. City of Burnet backhoes were brought in to tear holes in the structure to allow water in, which helped to subdue the flames. 

An email from Erskine to DailyTrib.com on Tuesday morning stated that crews were still putting out hotspots, but the fire was 99 percent contained. 

dakota@thepicayune.com