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TARRANT COUNTY (CBS11) — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it could take days before they know what caused a North Texas gun range to go up in flames, triggering a series of explosions.
On Target Firearms Training Academy along U.S. 377 just south of Benbrook caught fire just before noon Saturday. Now federal agents are helping local investigators.
With most of his inventory safe in the largely untouched retail section, owner Jack Wilson is grateful that part of his business was saved and that no one was seriously injured when the building caught fire.
“We just pick back up, and we get cleaned off and we’ll pick up, see where we’re at and move forward,” Wilson said.
Investigators say at this point there’s nothing to suggest foul play, and they don’t think the cause of the fire was related to any weapons or ammunition. But because of the nature of the business, ATF will assist the Tarrant County Fire Marshal in the investigation.
For Wilson and his wife, Jayma, the loss is overwhelming.
“We started it from the bottom and built it up, so it’s pretty much been our life for 20 years,” Jayma Wilson said.
And they’re not the only ones feeling the loss. Customers such as Philip Ware stopped by to check on the business they say is more than just a firing range.
“It’s just a place that I can come and exercise my Second Amendment. People here are gracious and kind and helpful and give a lot of assistance,” Ware said.
Despite the loss, Jack Wilson managed to find a silver lining amid the rubble.
“One of the things that was quite interesting, we had two large banners on the side of the building that had the American flag and Texas flag and the Second Amendment below it. And with the statement, it says, ‘Open seven days a week to exercise your rights,’ and one of them survived,” Jack Wilson said.
Jack Wilson kept the banner to put back up when he’s ready to open again.
“I’ve been doing this almost 21 years. We’re not stopping now,” Jack Wilson said.
The owner said the one employee who was injured is doing well, that he was treated as a precaution, and he was even able to drive himself to the hospital.
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