Weatherford Democrat

Local News

December 7, 2012

Fire damages vacant WISD building

WEATHERFORD — The Weatherford fire marshal believes a homeless man’s activities in the basement of a vacant Weatherford ISD building likely led to a blaze late Wednesday night that destroyed the single-story structure.

Weatherford firefighters received a call of smoke in the area after 10 p.m. Wednesday and found heavy, thick, black smoke coming from the eaves of a single-story building in the 100 block of North Denton Street, officials said.

Emergency personnel shut down portions of surrounding streets, including North Denton, Line and Jameson as firefighters put out the fire and remaining hot spots until clearing the scene about 3:30 a.m.

Because of the age of the vacant structure and concern about the integrity of the roof, firefighters fought the fire defensively from the outside, Fire Chief Paul Rust said.

Though firefighters had a close call due to mechanical issues with a fire engine, no one was injured. In addition to Weatherford, Hudson Oaks, Willow Park, Central and Greenwood fire departments also responded.

Fire Marshal Bob Hopkins said he did not know the exact cause Thursday afternoon but does believe the fire originated in the basement of the school.

The building was originally constructed in 1923 as a two-room schoolhouse with a basement used for restrooms and had an addition in 1935, according to Hopkins.

A homeless man was staying there and found his way into the basement area, Hopkins said.

“He was not there when fire started, according to him,” Hopkins said, adding that the fire didn’t just start itself.

Because of the amount of debris in the basement and the safety issues presented to reach the area, Hopkins said they may not ever know the exact cause of the fire but said it’s most likely due to “user error.”

“I have a real concern with our homeless population that seems to be slowly growing and where they camp out,” Hopkins said.

A couple of years ago, Hopkins said, they dealt with a fire in an empty house that someone had been staying in.

Though the homeless use vacant structures for shelter, particularly in the winter, the concern is that some ways used to keep warm or cook food can be dangerous and present a fire hazard, according to Hopkins.

Text Only
Local News
  • Dept. of State Health Services releases Aug. schedules

    Texas Department of State Health Services immunization clinics for August:

    July 24, 2014

  • 0723 loc WC upward bound.jpg Traveling the path to success

    Several factors aligned to set Louriann Villa on the path to success including a mother she considers a hero, the Weatherford College Upward Bound program and scholarship funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weatherford DAR to host summer workshop

    Weatherford Chapter-DAR will be hosting the District II summer workshop with 94 members from across North Texas attending on Saturday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Side Baptist Church.

    July 23, 2014

  • Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose

    Looking for a fun night out? Join us for the Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. 

    July 20, 2014

  • DAILY RECORD: Marriages and deaths

    Marriages and deaths recorded from July 9, 2014, to July 15, 2014. This information is being provided as a courtesy by the Parker County Clerk. Every effort is made to see that the information is correct and complete. The Parker County Clerk is not responsible should there be an error within the information provided.

    July 19, 2014

  • Master Gardener training orientation dates set

    The Parker County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be offering a Master Gardener Intern Training Course this fall. 

    July 19, 2014

  • Soulis named to Dean’s List at Washington University

    ST. LOUIS — Johnathon Taylor Soulis, of Weatherford, was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2014 semester at Washington University in St. Louis. Soulis is enrolled in the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    July 19, 2014

  • CASA - Hope for Children unveils new website, videos

    CASA-Hope for Children has always been able to help 100% of the neglected and abused children taken into the foster care system, but because of the overwhelming number of children that have been taken into the system that may not be the reality much longer. 

    July 18, 2014

  • Driver speed, seatbelt compliance surveys show improvements

    The Weatherford Police Department utilized grant funding from the Texas Department of Transportation to fund overtime salaries for extra enforcement during the week of the Fourth of July. The extra patrols worked to ensure drivers were complying with posted speed limits, wearing seatbelts and were not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in an effort to keep our local roadways safe.

    July 18, 2014

  • Sheila Gerrald CASA announces Advocate of the Quarter

    CASA Hope for Children volunteer Sheila Gerrald has been chosen as Advocate of the Quarter for the Second Quarter of 2014. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record