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Fireworks warehouse fire near Bastrop

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You could see the smoke from miles around on Sunday afternoon as an "assortment building" at American Fireworks in Bastrop caught fire.

10 departments responded and 70 firefighters got to work trying to put the thing out.
3-N-1 Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Chief David Gahagan says something like the West explosion is no doubt on everyone's mind, but he says the small popping noises aren't anything to worry about.

"Thankfully we've had no explosions, just fireworks.  But we're being cautious and trying to keep folks hydrated in this heat," Gahagan said.

American Fireworks owner Chester Davis says there were trailers in the warehouse because they were getting ready for some of the big 4th of July fireworks shows they put on every year.

"Now we're not a commercial fireworks company.  We are a 1.4g.  That's why you never heard anything go 'boom.'  Well everything just burns because it's 99% paper and 1% firework powder.  So everything you see -- and it's going to burn for a day or so, it's going to be cardboard because that's how fireworks are made," Davis said.

Davis says the fire will set them back a litle bit putting on those fireworks shows.

"We lost the trailers and the firing systems that fire the fireworks shows [but] we can make more fireworks shows.  We don't have the equipment to put together the shows, so we're going to have to come up with some new plans," Davis said.
The owner tells us he intentionally built the assortment building back away from the other buildings just in case there was ever a fire which he says there hasn't been.

"This facility, American Fireworks, has a great safety record.  We've never had any issues with them.  They're always on the mark when it comes to safety," Assistant Chief Gahagan said.

Davis says there were 2 employees in the warehouse at the time.  He's just thankful they got out alive.

"You know, I've been in the business 40 years and I've never had a fire like this so this is all new to me.  As long as my people are safe and no one's harmed, the rest of this I can fix," Davis said.

Fire crews say the fire was put out by 2:30 Sunday afternoon.  Crews remained for hours afterward putting out hot spots.

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