Just before 10 pm. Liberty County dispatchers received a call for a fire at the Dollar General on SH 321 just east of Cleveland in the Tarkington area. Tarkington Fire Chief Paul Gregory, who lives just down the street. As he walked out of the house he could already see the smoke. Tarkington Fire Department arrived minutes later with heavy fire and smoke inside the building. Chief Gregory immediately started calling for additional resources By the time the fire was brought under control 12 fire departments were on the scene. With no water supply close by tankers were in big demand as they shuttled water to the portable dump tanks at the fire scene. According to Gregory, the store was just closing for the night when employees saw a lot of fire toward the back of the store. There were no injuries but the interior of the store was a total loss. The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office will be responding in the morning. The fire was finally declared under control just before midnight. Tarkington Fire Department was assisted by Cleveland, Cypress Lakes, Highway 321, North Liberty County, Livingston, South Polk County, Caney Creek, North Montgomery County, East Montgomery County, Kennefick Fire Departments along with Liberty County Haz-Mat. There were no injuries.

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  1. bbarr

    12 departments respond to a 7500 sq ft metal building?……. that seems like overkill……not to mention leaving those communities exposed that those departments would normally take care of.

    1. simpleguy_68

      Long-time volunteer firefighter, now retired.

      Most of the departments were dispatched to bring water supply. This is a rural area, with limited hydrants, so tanker trucks are used to shuttle water from the closest hydrant to the fire scene.

      Additionally, nearly all these departments are volunteer, generally responding only two or three firefighters. So even with twelve departments, you’re looking at no more than 60 or so firefighters. Considering that several of those were driving the tanker trucks, others were pump operators or working in an auxiliary support position, while others are part of the RIT team, you now have around 40 or so actively working the fire. Of those forty, half are fighting the fire, while the others are in rehab, dealing with the heat.

      So now you have only twenty actually fighting the fire. This includes those inside fighting the fire and those on the roof trying to cut holes to ventilate.

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