Tire shop goes up in flames

July 27, 2009 9:12:14 AM PDT
Fire ripped through a tire shop in northeast Harris County overnight.The fire broke out at a shop on Hopper near Bentley. Fire crews were able to gain control of the blaze pretty quickly. They not only kept it from spreading to what remains of the inventory there, but also to a neighboring house.

The homeowner of that house is the one who called 911. She tells Eyewitness News it was around 3am when she heard a popping sound outside her window. She looked out and saw the flames.

After calling 911, she called the owner of the shop. By the time he arrived, most of the inventory had melted away.

"I lost everything back there. It was all new inventory. All those racks were full of new tires," said shop owner Richard Rodriguez. "There are none left and it burned the rims. They were aluminum and it was too hot. It just burned it all to the ground."

The shop has been at that location for eight years. Right now, investigators believe the fire started inside of a small metal building and then spread to a second building that served as the office. Both buildings are total losses.

The fire was so intense that the the homeowner next to the burned out shop had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Arson investigators are on scene trying to determine a cause.

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