KFD battles blaze at downtown salon


Kilgore Fire Department responded to a fire at Tanline tanning salon at 218 N Kilgore St. around noon Friday.

Smoke billowed from the building as emergency personnel entered to extinguish the flames while onlookers watched from the street and sidewalks.

Justin Dupont said he saw smoke coming from the building and KFD was on the scene only a minute after Brian Bittick, of Farmers Insurance, called 911.

“It looked a little odd. There was yellow smoke coming out of the downspouts,” Bittick said. “I saw just a tinge of something and thought 'what is that'?” '

Bittick said he saw no one in the building as he walked around it. He thinks someone else dialed 911 as well because he heard sirens as soon as he made the call.

Almost immediately, Kilgore police blocked off the street. After putting on protective gear, KFD attacked the fire from multiple sides.

Many reacted to the incident on social media. On Facebook, users posted condolences and offered prayers for business owners.

Multiple agencies responded to the fire, including Sabine Fire Department and Kilgore Rescue Unit. Flames were not visible from outside the building but smoke poured from the building and hung in the air at the World's Richest Acre on Commerce Street.

At times, the smoke had a yellow tinge.

At times, the smoke had a yellow tinge. Nothing hazardous, Kilgore Fire Marshal Brandon Bigos said, it's no worse than any other smoke from a building fire.

As KFD engaged the fire, black smoke could briefly be seen coming from the building. Firefighters primarily used Tanline's front entrance and the entrance to Salon Two18.

No injuries have been reported and the fire was completely extinguished after approximately three hours.

"It looks like the building's going to be a 100 percent loss, probably," Bigos said. As for the cause, while there's nothing suspicious about the fire, "It’s still under investigation."

Approximately 40 people gathered downtown to watch the incident unfold. Some stood in the middle of street while others clustered on sidewalks as they watched KFD fight the fire.

While many posted online with concerns for nearby businesses, it appears there was no immediate danger to other buildings, the building housing the salon is not connected to other structures.


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