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First Street Plaza fire cause undetermined; cleanup scheduled

First Street Plaza fire in Marble Falls, Texas

The cause of a structure fire at First Street Plaza, 705 First St. in Marble Falls, was ruled 'undetermined' by the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled the cause of an Oct. 4 fire at First Street Plaza in Marble Falls “undetermined” after two months of investigation. The site of the destructive blaze, which is littered with the remains of China Kitchen and other businesses, is scheduled for cleanup in the coming weeks.

“It’s up to the property owner to clear the site,” said Marble Falls Fire Chief Tommy Crane. “We’re working to get that cleared.”

Private investigations conducted by the impacted businesses’ insurance companies prolonged efforts to clear the site.

“There were multiple offices in there,” Crane said. “If they had insurance, their insurance companies sent investigators to look at the fire. We allowed time for everybody (to investigate) before we started looking at clearing it.”

The crushing magnitude of the fire, which destroyed China Kitchen, Hudson Electric, Hair Loft, Family Taekwondo Center, and other businesses, hindered investigators as they searched for the cause.

“I was not able to determine the first material ignited or the ignition sequence largely due to the extensive amount of consumption and fire-related damage,” Investigator Tony Auch wrote in his incident report.

Investigators attempted to determine whether the fire was started by mechanical, electrical, or human error. 

“They tried to rule out anything that might have caused the fire before they came to any conclusions,” Crane said. “Since they couldn’t come to a conclusion with 100 percent accuracy, it was ruled undetermined.”

Crane said he is proud of his department’s response as firefighters were able to preserve a building adjacent to First Street Plaza on Second Street despite the intense next-door blaze. Nearby businesses include Brothers, Barber, & Beard; Lakes & Hills Mortgage Co.; and Century 21 Keiser & Co. Real Estate. The office space seemed poised to be engulfed by the inferno when first responders arrived at the scene.

“The fire was so intense that we had to pull everyone out (of First Street Plaza) and go to a defensive attack,” Crane said. “That’s when we put the water curtain between the two buildings to try and block the fire. We were very successful. It was a major accomplishment for the department to be able to save that building.”

1 thought on “First Street Plaza fire cause undetermined; cleanup scheduled

  1. A major loss for Marble Falls and surrounding areas for sure.
    So very proud of our first responders and the awesome job they do.

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