Five area fire companies were required to control the flames Monday night from a massive fire inside Williams Furniture, a decades-old furniture store located at 829 North Frazier in downtown Conroe.
"We arrived within minutes of getting the call, but the building was totally engulfed by then," Conroe fire marshal Mike Legoudes told CultureMap. "They don't make furniture like they did 50 years ago. Today they use so many synthetic materials that catch fire very quickly."
Legoudes said firefighters fought the blaze from outside for nearly 45 minutes before anyone could attempt to tackle flames inside the building. In the end, more than 30 firefighters were needed to secure the scene. No injuries were reported.
"They don't make furniture like they did 50 years ago," Legoudes said. "Today they use so many synthetic materials that catch fire very quickly."
As the Conroe Fire Department got to the scene, flames were coming out of every door and window in the building and quickly spreading through the roof.
Conroe police officer Kevin Johnson told The Conroe Courier he was the first to arrive, responding to a dispatch made around 8:45 p.m. to find the building completely ablaze. Blue sparks were flying from a nearby power line and an parked SUV also had caught fire. After searching the interior for people, he watched the vehicle explode, shooting a small ball of fire from its engine.
"Our department will be responsible for the investigation," Legoudes said. "First we locate the area of origin to find the cause of the fire. We'll try to rule out as many accidental causes as possible and then we go on to arson."
The fire marshal said it will take several days of thorough investigation before a cause can be ascertained.