Updated With Video: San Angelo Grassfire 900 Block of W. 14th Street
A grassfire was reported at 1:33 p.m. near the 900 block of W 14th Street. Firefighters are currently working to put out the blaze.
Witnesses on scene say there is a storm drain transients have been hanging out and lighting fires.
Update: 1:57 p.m.
The blaze has flamed back up, sending flames barreling towards the sky and black smoke billowing upwards.
Firefighters have the hoses out in an effort to control the blaze.
Update: 2:00 p.m.
Two fire trucks, one fire rescue unit and multiple other fire department vehicles are on top of the hill with hoses running to the edge, where the hillside slopes away and the fire begins.
Update: 2:17 p.m.
Smoke is no longer visible above the treeline.
Update 2:24 p.m.
Other reports of smoke are being received from nearby, which the fire marshall attributes to the fact that the fire was localized around a drain that leads to the storm water system. Smoke may have seeped through and is appearing in other places where there is a storm drain.
Update 2:44 p.m.
Battalion Chief Royce Owen says the FD initially received the call for a grassfire, however due to the large amount of smoke they sent a full structural response. "When we arrived on scene, what we encountered was what appears to be liquified tar that was running out of the drainage pipe into the river," Owen said. The presence of tar or another flammable substance is still under investigation.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly, after a second flare up. A transient was reported to have been living in the pipe, however the Fire Department has not yet been able to determine whether there was someone inside the pipe when the fire started. The pipe is currently too hot for firemen to enter, and whether a person possibly residing in the pipe was injured is also currently under investigation.
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