Blaze damages event center

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Fire departments from Denton to Slidell responded to this one-alarm fire at the Buffalo Valley Event Center early Wednesday morning.

An early morning blaze at the Buffalo Valley Event Center caused extensive smoke and fire damage to the popular wedding venue just as the wedding season has begun to kick off.

Denton County Fire Marshal Jody Gonzalez said a passerby reported the fire at 5:13 a.m. Wednesday, saying flames were shooting up from the 2900 block of West Ganzer Road, where the picturesque center is located.

The garage and an office area of the main building were fully engulfed in flames when first responders arrived on the scene, said Kenneth Hedges, spokesman for Denton Fire Department.

Denton responded to the one-alarm fire with three engines, one ladder truck, one battalion chief and two ambulances from four stations, officials said.

Fire officials said the ballroom — host to many receptions and large-scale events — had heavy smoke damage. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing, officials said.

No injuries were reported from the fire, but one person was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for other health reasons, officials said.

Management of the facility was not immediately available for comment.

June is considered one of the most popular months for weddings, but Ricardo Tomas, a 10-year wedding planner based in Dallas, said weddings are popular in Texas year-round.

“It picks up after the holidays and Valentine’s Day when the engagements start happening,” he said Wednesday. “I am really busy right now with spring weddings. Spring and fall are in demand here.”

The Buffalo Valley center is located on a 100-acre ranch off Interstate 35 with more than 13,500 square feet of space that features a full-size bar, dance floor, mezzanine, gazebo, waterfall, patio and more, according to the event center’s website.

In addition to the flames, heavy smoke was visible before the fire was controlled at 6:11 a.m., officials said.

“The main ballroom has high ceilings,” Hedges said. “It took a long time for crews to remove all the smoke.”

A damage estimate hasn’t yet been determined, Gonzalez said.

Hedges said there wasn’t accessible water to fight the blaze, so Krum, Ponder, Slidell and Sanger fire departments assisted.

Since the property is in the jurisdiction of both the city of Denton and Denton County, the county is taking the lead on investigating the blaze in conjunction with the Denton Fire Department.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.


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