4 Exclusive - Son of tire fire property owner speaks out
Tue, 09 Aug 2011 04:15:03 GMT —
Law enforcement patrolled the perimeter of a property, Monday afternoon, which is now considered to be the site of the worst tire fire in Cameron County TMs history.
"We've been spreading the word that if anybody is caught in there... they're going to go to jail," a deputy constable said.
The post apocalyptic-looking ruins off Barlow Road south of San Benito have been targeted by thieves since last week's enormous blaze.
"I see footprints all over the place," Cameron County's emergency management coordinator, Humberto Barrera, said. "We've been getting reports that people have been stripping the place looking for copper and other valuables."
William Waldrep believes that may be how the fire erupted at his father's property.
Reporter: "How do you think your dad's place burned down?
William: "I think somebody started the fire."
Weeks earlier, Bobby Waldrep, a man who continues to be sought for questioning by authorities over possible state tire and environmental laws, failed to report a theft, according to his son.
"He had told me that somebody had chiseled out the radiator... the copper radiator out of it... and I told him, 'why don't you turn it in,'" he recalled?
He also never contacted authorities about alleged illegal dumping on the property.
Waldrep said dumpers contributed to the county estimated 10 to 20 thousand tires that burned for 72 hours last week.
Areas still smolder to this day.
Waldrep feared his elderly father could pay the price.
Reporter: "Do you see your father going to jail over this?"
William: "I hope not... But they have laws and stuff over tires and stuff... What can I say?"
He also feared for his own property.
His junkyard business is located about 4 miles from the fire off Tilden Road.
Waldrep hired a tire disposal company out of Linn to remove all excess tires from his property at a cost of around $1,200.
Reporter: "Do you think there are potential laws broken on your own property... or are you just trying to stay ahead of this?"
William: "I just want to get rid of them."
He hoped others would do the same before another costly fire hits the county again.
Bobby Waldrep is believed to be in May, Texas, according to his son.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Action 4 News that a warrant for his arrest could come in as little as two days.