Major fire in downtown Athens, evacuation ordered

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POSTED: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 6:16pm

UPDATED: Sunday, June 1, 2014 - 5:16pm

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office has confirmed emergency crews are responding to a major fire in downtown Athens. 

The sheriff's office first confirmed an explosion, but KETK has since received conflicting reports from the Athens Police Department stating there was not an explosion, only a large fire. 

The blaze, which started around 5:45 p.m., is located at a building near the intersection of North Pinkerton Street and Larkin Street. Witnesses tell us the structure on fire is the East Texas Ag Supply fertilizer facility. 

Evacuation

Authorities are evacuating up to a five block radius of downtown Athens, due to fears of an explosion, according to the multiple official sources. 

The Cain Center at 915 South Palestine Street (Highway 19) is accepting providing shelters for evacuees. If transportation is needed to the shelter, buses will pick up at the following locations every 30 minutes:

  • Athens High School Parking Lot, 708 East College St.
  • Gates Community Church, Corner of W. Tyler St. & Gauntt St.
  • Goodwill Store, 706 N. Palestine St.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is currently in route to check air quality within the evacuated area.

Updates will be provided as they become available.

No injuries have been reported, said an Athens Police Department spokesperson.

Old Fiddlers' Reunion

Residents in Athens, were already anticipating a big weekend for the annual "Old Fiddlers' Reunion," held downtown every year. City officials say they're now waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to come in and assess the air quality, before they can make a decision on the future of the festival.

Henderson County offices will be closed until 12 p.m., Friday, May 30.
 

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Notice these firemen choose not to be hero's, they are not spraying water on the ammonia nitrate.

And, if you didn't read...they let the ammonium nitrate burn OUT for a REASON. What do you think the firemen do? Get their skills from a book for dummies book? No. These men go to more trainings then you've been to in your entire life. They go out and risk their lives EVERYDAY for people like YOU which is SAD. I'll pray for you.

First of all, - If you were a fireman you would know exactly what to do. But since you're not, you shouldn't say anything. The plant shouldn't of had it in the first place. Secondly, - You would put out the fire before anything else because the fire spreads dumbass. My father is the fire marshal and he's the one doing the investigation...pretty sure all of these men are "hero's" in someone's book. When you're lying on the floor dying, please do not call our fire department to come help you.

Someones insurance papers must have started rubbing together, they have been investigating and studying all the feed stores located either in the square or near the square for some time now. There are about 4 within an eighth of a mile from the square. All the buildings around the square with the exception of the new bank building are jury rigged dumps including the courthouse.

nothing is coming through

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