Cause of Saturday blaze 'undetermined'


No one was injured in the fire Saturday night at the General Dynamics facility on Longview Street, while the cause of the fire is listed as undetermined.

The building was not in operation and no one was in the facility when the fire originated in the dip tank area of the structure, Kilgore Fire Marshal Brandon Bigos said. Unable to identify the ignition source, the cause is listed as undetermined.

“That means I cannot narrow it down to one specific thing… It’s not that it’s bad It’s just saying that you can’t decide… You can’t determine what which ignition source sparked the fire,” he said.

As an example, he said, the cause of a house fire would be “undetermined” if the point of origin was in an area including a TV, a candle and a lamp.

“(If) you can’t decide which one was the source, then it’s listed as undetermined,” he said, noting it can be five different possibilities or just two.

About one-third of the building sustained fire damage, and about 70 percent of the facility had heat and smoke damage, based on Bigos’ inspection.

The future of the building, whether it will be remodeled or replaced completely, will depend on the insurance.

“There’s a tipping point,” Bigos said, noting it will be up to the adjuster and the insurance company to determine if the damage surpasses that point of wanting to remodel with electrical and gas systems needing to be replaced.

The fire forced the closure of the immediate area, including a portion of Hwy. 259 near Pentecost Road, as crews from Kilgore Fire Department, Sabine Fire and Rescue, Longview Fire Department and Kilgore Police Department responded to the scene.

The initial code came in at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday and the emergency responders left the scene about 10 p.m.

Calls to the General Dynamics public relations department about the future use of the building were not returned by press time.