COPPERAS COVE — Investigators ruled the cause of a fire that destroyed the Goodwill thrift store on U.S. Highway 190 will remain “undetermined.”

“We have no idea what actually started the fire,” Copperas Cove Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young said Thursday. “On some fires, there is no way to figure out the cause because we don’t have enough evidence to make a determination.”

On Wednesday, the Cove fire marshal’s office requested aid from the Killeen fire marshal’s office and a K-9 fire unit from Temple. The K-9 unit was used to find whether accelerants such as gasoline were used during the blaze.

“The dog did not hit on anything,” Young said, which helps rule out the use of flammable chemicals.

Young said fire investigators from Copperas Cove and Killeen agreed the cause of the blaze will remain undetermined after concluding their investigations Wednesday.

The fire was reported at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, and firefighters worked the incident until mid-morning Wednesday, hosing down hot spots.

As of Thursday, officials with Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries still didn’t have estimates on the amount of damage caused by the blaze.

However, the thrift-store chain plans to keep the store’s 20 employees working at other locations, said Christina Taylor, marketing and communications director for the nonprofit organization.

“Right now, we are just focusing on getting the employees working at other locations,” Taylor said.

The employees will be given the option to work at the Killeen or Belton stores, she said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474

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