Three East Texas firefighters were injured after a Saturday-morning, three-alarm fire gutted a strip mall, reports FirefighterCloseCalls.com, and Longview fire officials have arrested a suspect in connection with the fire.
Officials say crews responded to businesses located on the corner of High and Methvin Streets around 3:50 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived at the High Street strip mall parking lot, the south end of the structure was heavily burning, the report says. Most of the damage was to the paint store, the report notes, which added literal fuel to the fire.
As firefighters were battling the blaze a concrete awning collapsed on them. As they tried to get out of the way, three firefighters were caught underneath falling debris. Two were taken to the emergency room for examination, and the third was treated and released at the scene.
One suspect, William Coyle, Jr., was detained at 3:50 a.m. and was being questioned. Coyle, a 41-year-old from Longview, is being held in the Gregg County jail on a felony arson causing bodily injury or death charge. His bond amount was set at $100,000.