5:20 p.m. FEB 25: High winds have forced investigators to suspend their inquiry into what caused a fire that destroyed a hardware store in Wimberley on Friday.
The site of Ace Hardware, 14307 Ranch Road 12, is unsafe because of gusty winds, assistant fire marshal Clint Browning said in a statement this afternoon. Wind gusts as high as 50 mph have been recorded in Hays County today. The investigation will continue Tuesday, Browning said.
10:38 a.m. FEB 25: A fire that raged Friday night at the Ace Hardware in Wimberley resulted in a complete loss of the building, according to Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Chambers. Damages are estimated at $3 million.
Six area fire departments – Wimberley, North Hays, Buda, Kyle, South Hays and San Marcos – responded to the call, which came in just before 10 p.m., according to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. Chambers said the Hays County Community Emergency Response Team was also on hand Friday night, helping to support first responders.
Chambers said there were no injuries to anyone during the fire, which started after the business closed for the night. His team will conduct the investigation at the scene today. The structure was too hot over the weekend to begin looking into possible causes, Chambers said.
“There is nothing to believe this was a case of arson right now,” Chambers said in an interview Monday morning.
The Ace Hardware store was the number three employer in Wimberley and number one in terms of gross sales, according to Chambers. — KIM HILSENBECK
KIM HILSENBECK reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.