Fire destroys Wilson County fireworks warehouse

American Chinese Fireworks warehouse in Floresville catches fire off Highway 181

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:53:51 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 27 2013 07:46:00 PM CST
FLORESVILLE -

Fire officials said fire from a barbecue pit is to blame after a fireworks warehouse burst into flames Saturday afternoon.

It happened at American Chinese Fireworks on Highway 181, just outside of Floresville.

Hundreds of fireworks were shooting off into the air as firefighters tried to contain the flames.

The 10,000 square foot warehouse, which was packed wall-to-wall with palettes of fireworks, was on fire and it was spreading to the nearby trailers, which were also full of inventory.

"That warehouse was stacked from top to bottom," said Michelle Sandoval, a manager at American Chinese Fireworks. "It's just crazy. Every single 18-wheeler trailer over there is packed back to front, top to bottom, full of fireworks."

Fire officials on the scene said fire from the barbecue pit spread quickly through a field and across a street until it reached the warehouse.

"The neighbor said that he did not know there was a fire ban," said Michael Blanquiz, a part-owner at American Chinese Fireworks. "He did have a water hose out to stop the fire across the street, but it didn't stop. It just kept on going over and got in our land."

Although no one was hurt, there was a lot of damage left behind.

Blanquiz said the fire destroyed $3 million worth of merchandise and that there was another $1 million worth of damage to the property as well. However, he said they are hoping to rebuild.

"I never expected anything like this to happen," he said. "But, you just never know."

"I mean there's millions of dollars in there that's literally going up in smoke," said Sandoval. "It's extremely devastating."

Volunteer Firefighters were on scene early Sunday to make sure the fire would not ignite again.