A fire broke out at a building housing several businesses on the 2000 block of E. Price Road in Brownsville on Monday afternoon, sending black smoke billowing into the air just across the street from the BISD administration building.
Multiple businesses are housed in four buildings on the property where the fire broke out. The building closest to Paredes Line Road, which housed Farmer’s Insurance, Salazar Insurance, Ana Lab Corps, and Cupcakes by Cory, were directly impacted as the fire spread.
The extent of the damage is not yet known. According to Brownsville Fire Department Chief Jarrett Sheldon, the fire started at about 4:00 p.m.
“It was reported that there was a fire coming from the roof on the back side of the building. When we got here, there was a lot of smoke and fire coming out of the roof area. Right now we have about seven fire engines, a ladder truck, and several command staff on the scene still fighting the fire,” said Sheldon at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Sheldon said the Brownsville Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene and would initiate an investigation as soon as the fire was extinguished.
Employees at nearby businesses, as well as business owners affected by the fire, stood in surrounding parking lots and watched the flames. Cory Bryan, who has owned Cupcakes by Cory for 10 years, stood with family members and friends as they watched the flames draw nearer to their storefront.
“We heard from customers through our social media pages that the business was on fire. On Mondays we’re closed. I was about to head over here a couple of hours ago because I usually work on my days off anyway,” Bryan said.
“Once we arrived, there were smoke and flames everywhere. It spread from our corner plaza to the second one. All the business owners called each other to check on each other, to let us know what was going on.”
Like other businesses in Brownsville, Cupcakes by Cory was still adapting its operations to curbside service. “This cuts at the heart of small business,” said Bryan’s sister.
The family asked for the community’s prayers. Bryan said, “Thank the good lord that no one was there working. I just pray that everyone is out and safe and healthy. Everything can be replaced, but of course, it’s a very sad day. We adore our customers and when we work sun up to sun down, we give it our all.”
Updated at 4:48 p.m. by Laura B. Martinez
Several Brownsville fire trucks and their crews are on the scene of a building fire.
The building is located across the street from the Brownsville Independent School District Administration Building on Price Road.
The fire started shortly after 4 p.m.
Price Road has been blocked off to traffic.