Fire at propane firm in­jures 2 fire­fight­ers, lev­els build­ing

Also de­stroyed in the Rockdale fire were 11 cars, up­hol­stery shop.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO&STATE - By Claire Os­born cos­born@states­man.com

A fire that started Fri­day morn­ing on the prop­erty of a Rockdale propane busi­ness in­jured two fire­fight­ers, de­stroyed an al­most va­cant 12-unit apart­ment com­plex, 11 cars and a neigh­bor­ing auto up­hol­stery shop.

Two fire­fight­ers were hos­pi­tal­ized, in­clud­ing one who stepped into a man­hole and an­other who suf­fered from smoke in­hala­tion, said Her­bert Vaughan, the first as­sis­tant chief at the Rockdale Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment. The city is about 60 miles north­east of Austin.

All that was left of the twos­tory apart­ment com­plex around noon Fri­day were piles of twisted metal, some still smol­der­ing. Smoke filled the air as fire­fight­ers walked around the burned­out ve­hi­cles.

The fire was started by a heater that the owner of All Ser­vice Propane was us­ing in the apart­ment com­plex, where he was the only res­i­dent, Vaughan said. The apart­ments, as well as the cars that burned, were all on the propane busi­ness’ 5-acre prop­erty on Cameron Av­enue in Rockdale.

The owner was un­able to

PHO­TOS BY RICARDO B. BRAZZ­IELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Rockdale As­sis­tant Fire Chief Her­bert Vaughan ex­am­ines the ru­ins Fri­day of an apart­ment build­ing and 11 cars on Cameron Av­enue after a fire be­gan at All Ser­vice Propane. The busi­ness’ owner was un­able to put out the fire, which spread to an auto up­hol­stery busi­ness.

A fire­fighter works Fri­day near the rem­nants of one of the 11 cars de­stroyed by a fire that lev­eled a two-story apart­ment com­plex on the grounds of All Ser­vice Propane. The fire was started by a heater the com­pany’s owner was us­ing in the apart­ment com­plex.

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