Austin/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 26, 2024
Austin Fire Department Battles Blaze at Vacant South Congress Avenue BuildingSource: X/Austin Fire Info

An abandoned building in South Austin became the scene of a fierce blaze Sunday afternoon, prompting the Austin Fire Department to shut down portions of South Congress Avenue as they tackled the flames, as reported by KXAN.

First responders were called to 4917 South Congress Avenue around 2:41 p.m., finding smoke billowing from the vacant structure, later firefighters were cutting a hole in the roof due to difficulties accessing the flames inside, the fire, which ignited in a two-story building, was not linked to the neighboring SoCo Pet Lounge, , according to CBS Austin.

No injuries were reported at the scene, where Austin-Travis County EMS assisted along with fire crews, while Austin Energy disconnected the power to the building as a safety precaution, this strategic effort and evacuation came as crews switched to a "defensive mode" approach, whereby they retreated from the structure to attack the fire from the outside.

The incident caused significant disruptions, with officials advising the public to avoid the area and expect delays "for the foreseeable future," while the cause of the fire remains undetermined, it inflicted an estimated $502,000 of damage to both the structure and contents within, the site was still swarming with firefighters into the evening as they aimed at extinguishing deep-seated hot spots, as per CBS Austin.