Federal investigators join store fire investigation

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 6:48 PM

WIMBERLEY, Texas -- High winds Monday made it difficult for fire investigators to finish an already difficult task of finding out what caused a fire at the Ace Hardware store in Wimberley.

"Every time we pick something up the wind catches it," said Assistant Chief Clint Browning with the Hays County Fire Marshal's Office.

ATF agents out of Austin and San Antonio joined Hays County and Bexar County investigators to find the cause of the fire. The damage is estimated at $3 million.

Fifty firefighters from six different agencies responded to the fire that broke out at 9:30 Friday night.

The Ace Hardware store employs 34 full and part-time employees. It's the largest generator of sales tax revenue in Wimberley.

"We rely a large part on sales tax dollars so if this store isn't in operation, it's going to cause us to tighten our belts a bit and try to hang on until they can get it rebuilt," said Wimberley City Manager Dan Ferguson.

The owner does plan to re-build and the City of Wimberley wants to help the store re-open as quickly as possible.

Investigators will return to the scene Tuesday morning to continue their investigation.
 

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