The structure fire that effectively shut down, downtown Paris on Nov. 11, is still undetermined to the official cause to which it began.
The City Fire Marshall Clyde Crews said he immediately called for the Texas State Fire Marshal to make way to Paris for the investigation. Adding that due to the size, location, and historical factors, they were the best option for the sizeable two-day investigation.
“I am very appreciative of the State Fire Marshal coming to Paris to help and take the lead of the investigation,” Crews said.
The building that the fire originated in was said to have been undergoing renovations and is being speculated that an electrical fault of some kind could be the cause of the fire beginning.
At this time, Texas State Fire Marshal Investigator Jeremy Roth said the investigation is still open. The departments PIO Ben Gonzalez noted that at this stage of the open investigation, evidence was still being looked at.
“Investigators are still working on the determination of the cause of the fire. Evidence is being looked at that was acquired from the site, and any samples taken can be sent to the lab to help find a determination or cause to how it may have begun,” said Gonzalez.
He continued to explain that at this stage of the investigation cause and origin of the blaze is what investigators are working on. He also said when investigating the cause and origin; there are three possible outcomes; accidental, which can come from numerous reasons, Intentional which with lab work and forensic sciences can help determine aspects and fuels to how it started, or undetermined which will result from lack of findings.
Correlating the evidence collected and sending it to a lab is one way that investigators can determine if any accelerants were used, or if it could be accidental.
“It does take time to look through the evidence to make an official finding,” Gonzalez added.