An early morning fire Friday at a paint store caused the temporary shutdown of a local park, officials said.

The Killeen Fire Department was called to Tasco Auto Color in the 800 block of Highland Avenue just after 2:30 a.m. Friday. The business, which contained automotive paint and related products, was on fire, and it took first responders about two hours to extinguish the blaze.

Killeen Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Hawthorne said firefighters had to wear specialized equipment due to the nature of the fire.

“There were fumes from the burning chemicals inside the building,” he said.

Hawthorn said no one was injured.

While the blaze was squelched, the water used to extinguish the fire washed paint products into a concrete drainage culvert in nearby Marlboro Park, according to a city of Killeen news release.

The city closed the park Friday and arranged for a crew to clean up the paint-and-water mix. The statement also warned residents of residual fumes emanating from the business and the drainage culvert, and advised them to avoid the area.

Anyone in the area who is experiencing dizziness, nausea, respiratory distress or other symptoms should leave the area or seek medical attention.

City spokeswoman Hilary Shine said that a contracted clean-up crew is expected to arrive at the park at 10 a.m. today, and the park should be reopened tonight.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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