By LEWIS SPEARMAN
LYNCHBURG Shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, all available nearby firefighters were called to 7725 Decker Drive to fight a structure fire in a gameroom. The blaze was discovered by a Highlands ambulance in route to San Jacinto Memorial Hospital.
The brown commercial building, which houses an 8-liner style gameroom blazed at the front panels while three people stood in the parking lot of JR’s Convenience store when Highlands crews arrived at about 2:36, according to Harvey Little, Fire Chief of Highlands Volunteer Fire Dept.
Firemen from Highlands were granted command at 2:39 a.m., as volunteers and Crosby, Channelview, Baytown and Sheldon firemen alternated pumping 1,750 gallons of water to knock down the outside blaze. Channelview firemen were first through the doors using three lines fed by volunteers.
Less than two hours later the fire was under control and was officially tapped out at 4:15 a.m., said Little.
Little indicates that there was some difficulty getting access to parts of the building. The building, he said, had undergone some additions, which made getting to the fire base problematic. Barriers include bars on the windows and a double ceiling. Firefighters had to cut holes in the roof to gain entry as well as having trouble getting in through the back door although that was accomplished. In an effort to save some of the 8-liner machines from water damage, Little said tarps were placed over them while firefighters continued to battle the blaze.
It is estimated that 52 machines were lost in the fire.
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s office says they have record of another fire call to the same building that week. The Fire Marshalls office said they would not comment on the cause of the fire, since it is still under investigation.
Little reminds people that if they see a fire, they can use any pay phone to dial 911 without using change. Had it not been for the ambulance crew passing by when it did, the damage could have been worse.
Highlands Arcade Burns
By LEWIS SPEARMAN