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Fire Destroys Knox County Home and Business

A massive fire destroyed a home and business in Knox County Saturday afternoon, and around a dozen departments responded to blaze. Hours after this fire started smoke was still visible from miles away, and there were flames as far as the eye could see.
A massive fire destroyed a home and business in Knox County Saturday afternoon, and around a dozen departments responded to blaze.

Hours after this fire started smoke was still visible from miles away, and there were flames as far as the eye could see.

Saturday's fire on North Texas Gas Road has left a lot of questions unanswered.
   
Around 11 a.m. flames shot out at Christopher Hall's pallet company, but no one is sure why.

"The boy that works for me burned trash last night in the field way away from the building, and the pallets were dry. We don't know whether an ember blew into the pallet... we're just not sure," said Hall.

When the Oaktown Fire Department arrived on the scene, officials say they had a pretty good handle on the blaze, until the water supply got dangerously low.

"Tankers were on the way, and they just couldn't get here fast enough. I do think that we've been able to get some here just a little quicker we might have been able to save part of the structure, but the wind hindered us as well," said Oaktown Fire Chief Stephen Hobbs.

Fire spread into the family home -- just feet away from the business -- and that's when homeowner Hall said he knew all was lost.

"Within 30 minutes it was in the entire building, we just couldn't stop it," said Hall.  "It just spread through the entire building, we couldn't stop it. By the time of the firetrucks really got here it was just too late."

And water wasn't the only concern, fire fighters kept a watchful eye on a nearby anhydrous ammonia tank that was leftover from a previous business.
   
Fortunately, the caution kept the couple hundred gallons of chemicals from bursting.

"A couple of down-wind residence did go ahead and evacuate on their own just for safety sake," said Hobbs.

No one was injured in the massive fire, and Hall was able to save the most important items from his home.

"It's 14 years of my life, I raised my kids here, I mean I made my life here," said Hall.  "I got most of my pictures and I got my Bible. My Bible with all marked up and I got it out and the only thing that really mattered."

Officials are looking into the cause of the fire.
   
Hall said he does have insurance on the property, but he's not sure it is enough to rebuild both his home and the business.
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