Four-alarm fire damages several SW Houston stores

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Firefighters battle 4-alarm fire, Kevin Quinn reports.

Investigators are now working to discover what caused a massive, four-alarm fire in an industrial area of southwest Houston.

Firefighters battled not only the flames in the 10000 block of Harwin, but the heat. On a day when temperatures approached 100 degrees, there was more than 100 firefighters rotating in shifts to knock the fire down.

"We just gathered our belongings, got out and made sure the people next door got out too," said Dan Topper, who was at work in one of the stores adjacent to the fire. "It's a mess. It's definitely a mess."

It appears the fire started near "SAS Store Fixtures" which sold commercial store display systems, mannequins, shopping carts and the like. The business sustained the worst of the damage and everyone was able to make it out.

The fire was raging before HFD even arrived so getting it under control - with the heat outside today - took some planning.

"With 97 degrees once you are at about 100 pounds of gear your ability to work is really compromised. So once they go thru about 1 air bottle, we try to get them out, get them rested, hydrated, then put another crew in there, and keep that rotation going," said HFD Spokesperson Ruy Lozano.

Metro buses were brought in as a place for them to escape the heat.

Investigators are working to find the cause of the fire. There were no reports of injuries.
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