Several firefighters received IVs to treat for dehydration (Source: KLTV staff)
The fire flared up just before noon on Tuesday. (Source: KLTV staff)
Smoke was seen from atop the KLTV Longview studios in downtown Longview. (Source KLTV)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Firefighters have extinguished a fire at the Coors distribution facility in East Longview on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Longview Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Green, the fire was contained around 2:30 p.m. and then completely extinguished.
The fire was reported around 10:30 a.m. by the Longview Fire Department. Smoke could be seen billowing from the building in the 2000 block of East Cotton Street.
All employees were able to evacuate the building before the fire department showed up. Crews arrived around 10:25 a.m. and were able to gain access to the building by cutting through walls. The fire was controlled just before 10:50 a.m. but Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary said the fire flared up again just before noon and a second alarm was called out. Insulation inside the building kept reigniting, making it difficult for firefighters to control the blaze.
Crews remained in the building to battle the blaze, which was brought back under control just after 1 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., flames were no longer visible from outside the building. An hour of significant rainfall on Tuesday afternoon helped crews contain the flames.
Authorities say the smoke coming from the fire was toxic for firefighters inside the building, but not to people in the surrounding area. No evacuations were ordered.
According to Lezli Chappell, a Coors spokesperson, it is believed the fire was caused by an A/C crew working on a unit at the back of the building where coolers store kegs of beer. Officials think a torch ignited insulation, starting the fire.
There is no word yet if any of the offices in the front of facility can be saved. The entire facility likely received major smoke damage.
Several firefighters were treated on the scene of minor injuries, such as sprains. A few were given IVs to treat dehydration.
Traffic from Eastman Road entering downtown on East Cotton was redirected onto Gum Springs Road, according to Officer Kristie Brian. Westbound traffic on Cotton to Eastman Road was also shut down.
According to their website, Coors of Longview occupies a 47,000 square foot facility with 20,000 square feet of cold storage. The company reports the facility employs 60 individuals at the Longview facility. Coors of Longview distributes over 60 products from the facility in Longview.
Kilgore and White Oak fire departments were on call to cover Longview because so many Longview units were on scene at the Coors facility.