Firefighters responding to 4-alarm fire in McGregor, building total loss

Posted at 2:17 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 00:17:33-05

Several volunteer fire departments are still working to put out a fire at GAP Roofing on Bunker Road in McGregor. It could smolder for several days.

Fire officials said while the building is a total loss no one was hurt. They added that they will not know what caused the fire until after they are able to put it out.

They said they have it contained, but not under control. That means it will not reach the asphalt tanks in the building or the field around it. Fire officials were worried for a moment that the asphalt tanks could explode or the fields could catch fire.

The business is privately owned. They make felt and tar paper for roofs. That's why fire officials said the smoke was so thick and black.

"So the products that are burning at this point is a lot of paper and paper is made out of wood so it burns readily and there's a lot of it so it's tightly wound rolls of paper stacked on pallets which is why it's going to burn so hot and so long," said Jeffrey Mincy, the Coryell Memorial Healthcare System EMS Chief.

News Channel 25 got several pictures from viewers who said they could see the smoke as far as 50 miles away.

An employee, Jay Lewis, said he noticed a "whoosh" around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday and then the fire started. He said a welder tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher, but it did not work. After that failed, Lewis said all employees got out of the building. GAP Roofing said everyone is safe.

Firefighters said they're fighting the fire defensively. That means they're not going inside to knock down the fire rather fighting it from outside with hoses.

Fire officials said fire crews from Coryell, Waco, Moody, McGregor, Ogelsby, Turnersville and Gatesville, most of them volunteer, responded.

This is a developing story, refresh for the latest.

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