Fire Destroys Decades-Old Dallas Business


Photo of Dallas firefighters at the scene | Image via Twitter

A local business was destroyed by fire Friday morning, despite swift action by firefighters.

The uncontrollable blaze erupted at Army Navy Plus, a Dallas-based business located at 11274 Harry Hines Blvd. The business carries a variety of military-themed products but specializes in army surplus accessories and high-quality industrial workwear.

Dallas Fire-Rescue was alerted to the out-of-control inferno on Friday morning at 7:01 a.m. following a 911 call. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters established a perimeter around the site but determined that the billowing clouds of smoke were coming from an area of the one-story commercial structure that was inadvertently obstructed by a large shipment of goods that Army Navy Plus had received a day prior.

The out-of-place shipment thwarted firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the flames, which grew into a four-alarm fire.

A four-alarm fire is “a catastrophic fire event that happens only a couple of times a year for most city fire departments,” according to Desert Fire, a fire protection service.

Considered the second-most dangerous situation in a firefighter’s dispatch system, a four-alarm fire can require up to 21 emergency vehicles, including six battalion chiefs. In the case of Army Navy Plus, the four-alarm fire resulted in roughly 100 firefighters reporting to the scene, for which both aerial and ground master streams were employed to quell the flames, according to reporting by WFAA.

The army-themed retail store opened a little more than three decades ago and has been a family-run business ever since. Joan Walker and her son Bradley handle the day-to-day operations and were horrified to learn that the storefront had caught fire.

Bradley expressed utter disbelief, saying that his family did not know what to think and what was going to happen.

“I walked out yesterday, closed at 6:30. Never thought that’d be the last time I was in it,” he explained.

What is sure is that the store that used to be a part of the Walker family is now “a total loss,” as Bradley called it.

Even though no one was injured or hurt during the fire, the business sustained considerable losses to its inventory, some of which were cherished and irreplaceable items that belonged to Joan’s late husband.

“There was a chair that sat there where my husband always sat. It had his vest on it, and it’s gone,” Joan said through a stream of tears.

A preliminary investigation by Dallas Fire-Rescue into what started the fire has yet to yield a probable cause, but investigators indicated that the fire likely began in the rear of the building.

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