New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
See related photos Page 2
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
New Braunfels firefighters Thursday morning continued fighting flareups of a major structure fire that began around 1:30 a .rn. and severely damaged the West Point Pepperell Mission Valley Mill, behind the Mill Store Plaza..
Activation of an automatic sprinkler system prevented the fire from completely destroying the mill, said New Braunfels Fire Chief Phil Baker.
“If it wasn’t for the sprinkler system this place would probably be gone,” Baker said. “A sprinkler system activated and did a good job of containing the fire (until we got here). It appears that the fire extended through the air-handling system.”
The primary combustibles fueling the fire were cotton lint and “sizing,” a kind of starch. Baker said.
“As far as we can tell the primary fuels have been the lint and sizing in the air control system and in the false ceiling,” he said.
Baker added that cotton lint becomes airborne during the manufacturing process at the plant and collects on surfaces in the building and as well as in air ducts.
No employee evacuations were necessary as the textile manufacturing facility was closed for the Christmas holiday.
“We initially had just twq sprinkler heads activated,” said Elroy Friesenhahn, New Braunfels fire marshal.
What was first reported as an electrical fire spread through air ducts to a space between the internal ceiling and the roof of the building. The building sustained damage to the “weaving room" and an adjacent break room. Parts of the roof were weakened, officials said.
“It’s real tough (to extinguish) because you have to pull the ceiling down,” Baker said.
The fire was also attacked by applying water through openings in the roof of the building where firefighters chopped through with axes to access the flames.
“The sprinkler system (began)
Firefighters set up fans attempting to eliminate some of the smoke
deterring our efforts because the area above the false ceiling where the fire was is not sprinklered,” Baker said. “All it was doing (later was) getting all of our people cold and wet.”
Three NBFD fire engine companies and two EMS units were initially dispatched to the scene just after 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of Porter Street and Consolidated. Sixteen off-duty firefighters were called in at 3:30 a.m. Extra manpower was also called in for mutual aid from fire departments in Seguin. San Marcos, McQueeney and Lake Dunlap.
“We got Lake Dunlap and McQueeney and we cancelled Seguin and San Marcos when we found that we were doing a pretty good job,” Baker said.
Anderson Ambulance Inc., a private New Braunfels ambulance company, was placed on standby to cover EMS calls so all fire department personnel could be used at the fire scene.
Air packs with breathing masks had to be worn by firefighters due to heavy smoke inside the building. One firefighter was transported to McKenna Memorial Hospital after breathing smoke. The firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation and released, officials said.
Firefighters were forced to shuttle Bm FIRE, Page 2
Vol. 140. No. 26Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY I Home pl Michael McDonald
1 Section. 12 PagesFirefighters battle lint fire
Sprinkler system saves textile plant
Local agencies assist in morning fire
By ROBERT STEWART
Several agencies assisted the New Braunfels Fire Department's efforts as they battled a fire at the West Point Pepperell Mission Valley Mill at 360 McKenna Avenue early Thursday morning.
Officers of the New Braunfels Police Department barricaded Porter Street on either side of the fire scene at Wright Avenue and McKenna Avenue to prevent non-emergency traffic bom entering the area.
New Braunfels Police Chief CU. “Dick” Headen was on the scene at the incident command post to personally coordinate Police Department support of the Fire Department operation.
As all possible NBFD personnel were needed to fight the fire, including those firefighters who serve as EMS paramedics, officials called on Anderson Ambulance Inc., a private New Braunfels ambulance company to fill the gap in the city's emergency response capability.
Anderson placed an ambulance, staffed with a paramedic crew, on standby to cover the city's emergency medical calls. New Braunfels EMS Unit 3 was stationed at the fire scene staging area to stand ready when Anderson Ambulance was dispatched on a medical call. Two NBFD EMS people manned EMS Unit 3 in case of a second call until Anderson Ambulance was back in service to respond to emergencies.
Volunteer firefighters came from Lake Dunlap and McQueeney too.
new Braunfels firefighters take a ladder lo the lop of the West Point Peppered Mid as they battle a IN tire today. (Photos by Robert Stewart)StammtischBeat wishes
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung sends birthday wishes today to Ailyssa Megan Rosas, Oinger Caddell and Tina Fell.
Belated birthday wishes go to Johnny M. Rosales, Alex Rosales and Stephanie Martinez.
Museum holiday hours
Holiday hours at the Children's Museum, 183 W. Interstate 33, are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, 10-3 Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
SM STAMMTISCH, Raga tGood Day
There is a good chance of rain for this afternoon, but clouds should start moving out of the area on Friday. (For a related weather story see Page 2)
SPORTS *•••••••••••••••••••••••• e-10
Negotiator to focus on past conservation efforts
By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer
A former New Braunfels mayor who is representing the city and Comal County in negotiations for a regional aquifer plan says that he will bring the city's past conservation efforts into the next round of talks on Jan. 3.
“What we're going to take back to the table at the time is some of the things that New Braunfels has done already to address the issue” of conserving the Edwards Aquifer, said Doug Miller
These include the construction of a surface water treatment plant
to help curb reliance on the aquifer, the restructuring of
water rates, and a year-round water conservation plan, he
All communities Miller participating
in the negotiations will bring their conservation efforts to the Jan. 3 meeting in San Antonio,
one in a series mediated by Austin Mayor Bruce Todd.
Chairman John Hall of the Texas Water Commission has set a Feb. 4 deadline for aquifer users to come up with a plan to conserve its resources
lf no satisfactory plan is formed by that deadline, the commission is expected to impose its own plan on the region.
At the last round of talks on Sunday and Monday, Hall explained the commission is working on a short-term and long-term management plans to
accompany a regional plan. Miller said.
Miller also said the delegation from San Antonio did not appear ready to compromise over the Comal Springs.
Local forces argue that San Antonio and other areas over the western part of the aquifer should limit their aquifer pumping to prevent the springs from running dry.
“The San Antonio delegation is continuing to press for no-fiow at the Comal Springs by saying that they are not willing to guarantee any flow for Comal because it
would create too much hardship on San Antonio.” Miller said. “They continue to work around those issues.”
He said it would not be unreasonable to ask San Antonio to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to limit their aquifer use.
Because that city is about 30 times larger than New Braunfels, “if we just spent $10 million on a surface water treatment plant, proportionately they should spend $300 million, so I don't think that's out of the bounds of reason to ask San Antonio to do that,” Miller said.
Officials prepare to "look up" trees
By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer
Forestry officials soon will categorize the 1,000 trees of Landa Park by location and species as pari of a national preservation program initiated through the U.S. Forest Service.
“We'll have a map by the lime this is over, and the trees will be
pinpointed to their exact location in the park,” said David Whatley, New Braunfels parks and recreation director.
“We'll know the species of the tree, the size of the tree, and on each individual tree in Landa Park, we’ll identify the work that each nee will require.”
Bm TREES, Rage 2
City officials look at appointing committee
By URRY ROWE Staff Writer
The New Braunfels City Council ii expected to form a citizens advisory committee in January for the redrawing of city districts, the interim city manager •aid.
“Once we put it on the agenda
Council) meeting, then the council
for the 13th of January
I will oome up with some names, and then the committee will be formed," Interim City Manager Hector Temayo said. “Then
they'll sun talking about redistricting."
Plans call for each council member to bring two nominations for the committee, which was requested by Churm and Munson, the law firm hired by the city to assist in the redistricting
"Under Justice Department regulations relevant to the redistricting of ail political subdivisions — ail the way from the Legislature down to school boards and city councils — you rs required to have a broad base of
public participation process, said
liamB^MwMBiaiiiilBiW B avlor law professor David Outnit, who runs I the firm with colleague Michael Morrison.
I "b's strongly recommended diet you have a blue-ribbon committee of outstanding citizens of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to participate in the process," in an advisory capacity, Guinn said.
He said the firm recommends thai the racial competition of die committee correspond with dm of the communiiy,