Accidental Fire In Local Buddhist Community Damages $10,000 Statue

By: Rachel Cox Email
By: Rachel Cox Email
A mid-day fire Thursday in a Central Texas Buddhist community destroyed a small building and damaged an expensive statue and other valuable items worth a total of about $100,000.

The fire damaged this statue, valued at $10,000. (Photo by Rachel Cox)

BELL COUNTY (October 5, 2012)--A Thursday morning fire in a southern Bell County Buddhist community that destroyed a storage building and severely damaged an expensive statue has been ruled accidental.

Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey said Friday the fire likely was caused by an electrical short.

In all the estimate of damage exceeded about $100,000.

Ron Phaxton, spokesman for the community that is just off State Highway 195 south of Briggs Rd., said a storage shed was destroyed, along with two doors that had been brought from Thailand for the Temple.

Temple Wat Pah Samarkki was not actually damaged, but a statue valued at more than $10,000, that also was brought from Thailand, was damaged in the fire, Phaxton said.

About 10 people live in the community and Phaxton said seven of them were there when the fire broke out.

State law requires any fire at a place of worship to be investigated.

No one was injured in the blaze.


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