Fire crews and the ATF spent Monday going through the rubble at a central Lubbock sewing shop, trying to find out where and how a fire began. The first team of firefighters responded to the scene at 2847 34th Street around 10:15 p.m. Sunday. Ten minutes later, they sounded the second alarm and called for help.
Within an hour, the flames destroyed Brenda King's Upholstery and Drapes Sewing Studio. The roof of King's store collapsed, and smoke caused heavy damage to the adjoining businesses. Now, fire investigators call this blaze suspicious and they're trying to determine if someone set the fire.
Monday night, the store was still gated off Monday night. Investigators tell us it could be a while before they release the scene. They say their determination could go either way, depending on the evidence, and they have to sift through a lot.
"We're talking about several hundred thousand dollars worth of damage," Garret Nelson with the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office said.
Store owner Brenda King saw the damage for the first time Monday morning.
"Everything is gone," King said.
Like many of us, King went to bed Sunday night, expecting to start a typical work week the next day. A knock on her door changed everything.
"I got woke up in the middle of the night by a police man coming to my door. They just wanted to make sure I was okay and that I wasn't in the shop," King said.
"They said there was no reason to come down here, because there was nothing could do. So, I didn't come down here until about 7:30 this morning to check it out," King continued.
"We've got several things inside that have made us suspicious," Nelson said.
Nelson says the ATF is assisting due to the amount of damage.
"It could go either way, pending on getting some more evidence. We had part of the roof collapse, so we're going to have to be digging some of that out," Nelson said.
"I'm fixing to go home and do some calling. I had a lot of fabrics in there that were my customer's fabrics that they paid for and they're gone," King said.
"It's just hard, she's a very good mother, a very good worker," King's daughter Priscilla King said.
"I don't know what we're going to do," King said.
"Whoever did this just think about your own families and how it would affect you and your family's lives, because it ruined ours," Priscilla said.
NewsChannel 11 will keep folks up to date on the outcome of this investigation. Again, investigators say it could take a while.
In the meantime, a fire fund is set up at American State Bank. Donations can be made in King's name at any location.
Fire investigators ask anyone with information about this fire to call the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office. That number is (806) 775-2646.