25 Vehicles Catch Fire at Donna Junkyard

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DONNA – Hidalgo County fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused more than a dozen vehicles to go up in flames.

Fire crews said they were able to extinguish the blaze Friday afternoon.

Officials said a total of 25 cars caught fire at the future home of Chico’s Auto Parts. Workers at the salvage yard were using torches and welding tools to work on the cars.

Chico's Auto Part Owner Elena Cruz said they tried to put the fire out themselves before calling for help. 

"They were trying to use the cloth and water, but it was too much. It was out of control," she siad. 

Preliminary investigations deemed the fire accidental.

Hidalgo County Fire Marshal investigator John Franz said the combination of heat, wind and grass were also a factor.

“We want to remind Hidalgo County residents that if they’re going to be working any kind of torches, any kind of welding equipment, grinders – anything that causes sparks, especially in areas with high grass – that they need to be very vigilant. We recommend keeping a fire extinguisher nearby,” he said.

Donna resident Ernesto Handy said he heard the loud commotion in the area.

“You could hear the explosions from each car and the black smoke was think, real thick,” he said.  

The Donna Fire Department was first on scene followed by Alamo firefighters.

No injuries or damage to structures were reported.

The fire marshal’s office is leading the investigation.

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