An abandoned industrial shed along the railroad line in Pearsall, which may have served as a shelter to area homeless, was heavily damaged by a fire on Monday, December 21.
According to police, the shed contains a number of disused 50-foot railroad boxcars that local homeless people may have been using for overnight accommodation.
While the cause of Monday’s fire has yet to be determined, first responders believe it was not started intentionally or with malicious intent.
“It looks like someone living in the train car was trying to keep warm,” Pearsall Fire Chief Placido Aguilar said on Tuesday. “We believe the fire was an accident.”
Monday’s fire marked the second time firefighters had responded to a call at the Comal Street location. On December 3, first responders were dispatched to the downtown shed after multiple calls were made to the county’s emergency dispatch indicating heavy smoke coming from the building.
Law enforcement officials have confirmed that no one was hurt in either fire. Crew members from the Union Pacific Railroad have since welded shut the doors to the empty structure.