The Tyler Fire Department continues to investigate an early morning structure fire in a vacant building at 2010 E. Gentry Parkway.

Witnesses, who saw smoke and flames inside the building, called 911 about 5:44 a.m. Friday.

Initial arriving units found the fire in the building and quickly extinguished the blaze, bringing the fire under control at 6:05 a.m.

Tyler Fire responded with three engines, one ladder truck, a battalion chief and an investigator.

The Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate the cause and will release further information as it becomes available.

No injuries have been reported.

Friday’s blaze marks the third week in a row that vacant buildings in the Tyler area have ignited with no known cause.

On Friday, Oct. 30 at about 7:35 p.m., witnesses heard what sounded like a bomb exploding and rushed outside to see a residence in the 400 block of East Erwin Street and North Center Avenue “totally engulfed in flames.”

Then, just last week, units responded to reports of a blaze in an unoccupied home on Roy Street about 6:20 p.m. before rushing to an explosion and fire at Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, Inc. at 8:30 p.m. and, finally, to reports of a fully engulfed structure at 205 S. Beckham Ave around 11 p.m.

Fire investigators announced Friday afternoon that they’d arrested Kermit Francis Gabel, 89, of Tyler, for first-degree felony arson in connection with the Beckham Ave blaze.

Findley said investigations into the other incidents are ongoing, but that, “I don’t think this one this morning is tied to anything that we saw last Friday.”

There is no information at present connecting Gabel to any of the other fires that remain under investigation, Findley added.

Managing Editor

Jessica Dillon, a 2017 graduate of the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University, came to Tyler in the summer of 2020. She has received a number of state awards for her agriculture, breaking news and community service reporting.

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