Grangerland- A little after 5 p.m. Grangerland and New Caney Fire Departments were dispatched to a grass fire at SH 242 and Old Houston Rd. While enroute, the dispatcher said it was a structure fire. Bennette Fire Department arrived on scene first, and were forced to use the JAWS to cut the wrought iron gate open to enter the property of Cole Enterprises.
They immediately called for a second alarm, bringing just about every department in East Montgomery to the scene, with the exception of Splendora.
Cole Enterprises is an oilfield pipe and tubular inspection company. The owner told officials he left the plant about 4 hours earlier.
The building, which is approximately 5000 square feet, was a total loss.
Firefighters had many challenges with this fire. The heat index was 102 degrees; the building made of steel required saws to cut through the metal doors; and with the intense heat inside the tracks and cables had melted making opening them impossible.
Along with the intense flames they found on arrival, there was an a electric pole attached to the building that was collapsing. Although no fire hydrants were in the area, a five acre lake provided all the water they needed. Two rookie firefighters had the best job. They stayed in the pond to make sure the hoses stayed submerged that supplied the pumpers.
As a precaution, Bennette Chief Clayton Brown called for EMS to stand by at the scene. However, while they were enroute, he upgraded them as a Bennette firefighter collapsed from heat exhaustion. He was transported to Herman Hospital in The Woodlands and is in good condition. Another firefighter was treated at the scene.
Bennette Fire Chief Brown stated that this is the first fire in a long time he had so many hose lines running off one truck.
Assisting Bennette was Grangerland, Porter, New Caney, Needham and River Plantation. Woodlands Fire Department backed into Bennette’s Lone Star Ranch Station and Atascocita backed into Porters station to help cover East County.
The fire was brought under control by 8 p.m. and at 10 p.m. units were still cleaning up.
Montgomery County Asst. Fire Marshall Scott Burlin arrived at the scene and started the investigation. On Monday, he will return with an ATF Team.