Fire destroys storage building and contents

Wade McIntyre
Damage of the Alex Reine Road fire was estimated at around $300,000.

A fire late Tuesday afternoon in St. Amant destroyed a storage building and its contents including a car, Jeep, motor home, four-wheelers and a mortorcycle that were inside, Capt. Aaron Gautreau of the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department said.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that occurred behind the residence of Anthony Burton at 10363 Alex Reine Road.

The houses of nearby neighbors were rocked by an explosion in the building that firefighters suspect came from propane and acetylene bottles that were stored there.

When firemen arrived, the propane and acetylene bottles and motor home tires could be heard exploding.

The blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after firefighters arrived.

“We used about 50,000 gallons of water and had over 40 fireman on the scene,” he said.

Ten trucks and apparatus from the St. Amant, Sorrento, 5th District and 7th District fire departments responded to the call at approximately 4:23 p.m.

Gautreau said the fire is still under investigation, and that around $300,000 in damage occurred to the building and its contents.

Burton and his wife Brenda were on the scene, looking at the damage in disbelief.

Brenda Burton said the motor home, filled with diesel fuel, was moved under the storage shed just the night before because of the bad weather.

Brenda Burton said she was alerted to the fire by the mailman who was blowing his horn outside her window.

The Burton’s son assisted firefighters by using his trackhoe to help control fire hot spots that were contained by not yet extinguished.

“There’s no way one fire department could have contained that fire by themselves,” Gautreaux said. “The materials, the fire load, were so flammable that it was a very hot fire.”

He said the other responding fire departments did a good job helping contain the burning building which is surrounded by several houses.

“We never lost water supply and everything went well,” he said.

Thick black smoke towers during the early stages of a fire at the 10363 Alex Reine Road residence in St. Amant Tuesday.