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Fire rips through storage complex

A two-alarm fire wreaked havoc on a mini-storage facility in the Kingwood area on Monday and shut down a major thoroughfare for hours and involving at least eight fire departments, including seven from Montgomery County. An additional fire department from Harris County assisted by providing a back-in.

The Porter Fire department responded to the 1400 block of Northpark between Loop 494 and Russell Palmer Dr., where Chief Jody Binnion said they found heavy fire, with 10 commercial storage units actively burning. They later learned the units contained everything from rescue boats to RV’s, race cars, passenger vehicles, and other high dollar items.

According to assistant Montgomery County Fire Marshal Scott Burlin, by the time the fire was extinguished, between 40 and 45 units had a heavy fire or smoke damage. The fire began in an oilfield services company where it appears they were using a cutting torch on some pipe, Burlin said.

“A fire started and they were not able to contain it,” he said.

No firefighters were injured. One person in the complex sustained slight injuries and was treated and released, Burlin said. The Fire Marshal’s Office will continue their investigation over the next couple of days, interviewing welders and other workers and attempting to determine exactly what occurred, he said.

“At this point, it appears to be an accidental fire,” Burlin said.

Fire Departments assisting Porter included New Caney, Splendora, Grangerland, Bennett, Needham, River Plantation, and Houston. The Huffman fire department backed into Porter’s station to provide coverage for East Montgomery County during the fire.

Northpark Drive was shut down because of hoses that were laid across the road to reach hydrants. Law enforcement agencies responding were the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constables Office and the Houston Police Department Mobility Unit who handled traffic issues on Northpark Drive.

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