TELICO — A heat lamp, set outside to keep dogs warm, caused a gun range to go up in flames Wednesday just outside of Ennis.
Firefighters responded to a fire at about 10:20 a.m. at Strategic Weapons Academy gun range, located at 1045 Cut-off Road in Telico. At about 11 a.m., firefighters called all rural fire departments with tanker trucks out to assist because of a lack of fire hydrants in the area.
It took six fire departments to put out the flames: Alma, Bardwell, Ennis, Garrett, Rule and Telico. All firefighters, except those from the Ennis Fire Department, were volunteers, said Joshua Hibschman, Ellis County Assistant Fire Marshal.
No injuries were reported, and no one was at the privately owned range when the fire started, Hibschman said. Ammunition was in the building, but this didn’t impact how the firefighters fought the flames, he said.
“It impacted a little bit, the fire was already fully-involved when we arrived on the scene,” he said. “So we didn’t enter the building. There was not too much danger, usually it’s the primers popping, not actual rounds.”
After the flames were out, part of the building’s roof collapsed.
The estimated damage is $43,000 and is considered a total loss, Hibschman said.
Smoke could be seen at least 10 miles from the building, and police kept watchers about 900 feet from the fire, not allowing them to cross a nearby bridge. Firefighters cleared the scene at 2:15 p.m.