Brownsville Building Deemed Total Loss after Overnight Fire

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BROWNSVILLE – Fire investigators are trying to figure out how a Brownsville restaurant went up in flames.

Brownsville Assistant Fire Chief Mario Guerrero said the call about a blaze at the 1200 block of Central Boulevard came in about 5 a.m. By the time crews arrived at Artemis Square Plaza, the building was fully engulfed in flames.

Five fire engines responded to the scene. It took firefighters about three hours to get the fire under control and continue working to put out hot spots. One of the walls left standing may be unstable, according to Guerrero. 

“It’s quite a large building, wood structure and normally it’ll take much time to put out such a big fire, especially if it was already heavily engulfed when the crews get here,” said Guerrero.

Several adjacent businesses at the plaza went through a temporary power outage. Barber Edgar Perez said he had to reschedule several of his appointments since he had no electricity till after lunch. He's hoping the loss of this business doesn't translate to a loss of customers. 

"We're hoping it doesn't affect it but we know very well that Mariscos Lauro Villar had a lot of traffic during lunch hour. So, we're just hoping for the best, and we're hoping it doesn't affect it," he said. 

The owners of the restaurant were too shaken up to give CHANNEL 5 NEWS an on-camera interview. Both said they are devastated by the loss of their business which they had been operating for the past two years.

The Brownsville Fire Marshal’s Office is on scene sifting through debris. The building was deemed a total loss.

Officials said most of the business will be without power for the next few hours as the investigation continues. 

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