ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Crews fought a fire at the Abilene Reporter-News building over 3 hours Thursday morning.
An electrical fire ignited on the roof of the building on the 100 block of Cypress Street downtown around 9:15 a.m.
It quickly began to grow in intensity, prompting a second alarm for help. Around 60 firefighters battled the blaze through 1:00 p.m.
Fire officials say that about an hour into the fight, the roof was so hot, their teams had to evacuate and perform defensive maneuvers, spraying water on the building from ladders surrounding the perimeter of the roof.
The fire is mostly contained, but crews are still going through the building and looking for hotspots.
For hours, firefighters sprayed upwards of 1,000 gallons of water a minute on the building and all that water flooded into the basement. The roof was also completely burned, though none of the structure collapsed.
The entire block has been shut down and will remain closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic until further notice.
Employees were evacuated from the building and, so far, no injuries have been reported.
Witnesses at the scene told KTAB and KRBC Abilene Reporter-News is the oldest business in Abilene, built in the 1800s.
The top floor, according to these witnesses, houses mechanical equipment.
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