Warehouse fire: Owner believes business targeted all year

A suspicious warehouse fire is under investigation tonight. Austin Countertops Warehouse owner Mark Raby woke up to the news early Sunday morning.

“This is the fifth time we've been vandalized this year,” Raby said.

The warehouse is located at the intersection of bluff bend drive and Braker Lane. Firefighters say perpetrators broke in early Sunday morning and lit the back of the warehouse on fire.

“The warehouse had filled up completely with smoke,” Palmer Buck, Austin Fire Department, said.

Raby says since the break-ins have happened over and over again this year, the perpetrators must have some kind of ill feelings toward him.

“Hate is a very strong word but I would go so far as to say whoever this is hates me,” Raby said.

The fire is suspicious in nature. We do have a joint investigation right now between the Austin Police Department and the Austin Fire Department,” Buck said.

Firefighters ventilated the smoke inside the warehouse. There is significant smoke damage, but fortunately no one was hurt.

“I'm incredibly blessed that we were not in operational mode and that it was a holiday weekend,” Raby said.

A.F.D. and A.P.D. are both working to determine what exactly caused the fire, and from there they can find out if this was arson.

“I don't hate them, I feel sorry for them,” Raby said.

The fire caused about $45,000 worth of damage.

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