Sept. 13 apartment complex fire being considered as 'suspicious'
By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor
Sept. 30, 2008 - Investigators aren't releasing many details but are saying the Sept. 13 fire which destroyed dwelling at Spanish Trails apartments, leaving more than 40 people homeless, is being considered "suspicious."
The blaze is being investigated by Sulphur Springs Fire Department Investigator Allen Johnson. Some items from the charred structure have been sent off to a laboratory to be analyzed.
"At this time, it is suspicious, but that's all we're releasing at this time," Johnson said Monday, adding that any information people may have regarding this early morning fire would be appreciated.
Information about the fire can be reported to Johnson at the Central Fire Station, 903-885-7547.
The Sept. 13 fire spread across the roof of the complex from one section to the next, then further west to an attached hotel.
Firefighters from six departments battled the blaze for more than five hours. Their efforts were hampered by windy conditions, remnants of tropical storm from Hurricane Ike, which fanned and rekindled flames.
Sulphur Springs firemen remained at the location most of that day, and was called out again Sunday and Monday to extinguish hot spots and rekindled flames.
The fire reportedly started in the far eastern corner of the middle section of Spanish Trails. Due to a false roof -- one in which a second layer with tarps and tar were constructed above the original roof -- the fire spread quickly to the western portion of the connected building, attached to the far side of Budget Inn.
The fire got so hot that tar burned and dripped down into the apartments, damaging the upper and bottom floors of those two sections at Spanish Trails, Sulphur Springs Assistant Fire Chief Tim Vaughn said the morning of the fire.