Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Weston, TX
Fire damage to your home is one of the most traumatizing, frightening tragedies a person can experience. This is especially true in apartment buildings and multifamily homes, where dozens if not hundreds of families are affected by fire and smoke damage. When a fire rips through an apartment building, the property damage can be catastrophic. But the damage caused by fires doesn't end once the flames have been extinguished. Victims are left wondering what happens next now that their belongings are destroyed. When will they have a roof over their again?
In these circumstances, prompt, purpose-driven fire damage restoration is key to reducing victims' financial and emotional strain.
The National Fire Protection Association states that a structure fire is reported every 65 seconds. When the fire alarm sounds, emergency responders answer the call for help with decisive action. But once the smoke clears, Atlas National Renovations' team of fire restoration experts step in to give hope to property managers, apartment tenants, and commercial property owners.
With decades of combined experience in disaster recovery, ANR understands the complexities associated with commercial and apartment building fires. We have helped the top multifamily groups in Texas recover their tenants' homes and belongings with care and compassion. If you're a property manager and you're still reeling from a fire disaster, know that we're here to help you too.
At Atlas National Renovations, our expert project managers and technicians play key roles in complicated fire restoration projects. We specialize in restoring Class A, B, and C properties like apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, multifamily buildings, mixed-use developments, large commercial properties, and more.
- Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Weston, TX
- Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Weston, TX
- Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
- Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
- Trustworthy Fire Damage Restoration for Businesses in Weston, TX
- Discover the Atlas DifferenceDiscover the Top Restoration in Weston, TX
If you're looking for a top-tier fire damage restoration company in Weston, look no further than ANR. We're the top pick when it comes to large, detailed fire restoration projects because we:
- Are a Trusted Partner in Restoration and Disaster Recovery
- Adhere to OSHA Standards and State & Federal Regulations
- Use the Latest Equipment & Remediation Techniques
- Offer Innovative Solutions to Detailed Problems
- Provide Seasoned Project Managers for Each Fire Restoration Project
- Give Clients Clear and Consistent Communication
- Work with Insurance Companies
- Have a Knowledgeable & Courteous Leadership Team
Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Weston, TX
Owners and managers of apartment complexes know that the safety of their tenants is a major responsibility. Unfortunately, nobody can completely control when apartment fires occur. Fires in apartments and multifamily buildings may start small, but they spread quickly, often destroying several living spaces. These frightening fires destroy prized heirlooms, important documents, and can even be fatal. However, the work is only beginning once the fire is put out and lives are saved.
In the aftermath of a disaster, figuring out the next steps is hard. During this difficult time, it's important to be prepared. As a property manager or owner, having a fire damage restoration company on your checklist of resources is crucial.
Unlike residential fires, apartment and multifamily building fires add several more layers of complexity and stress. In these situations, you deserve a restoration partner that you can trust without question, and that company is Atlas National Renovations.
With years of experience guiding our technicians and project managers, the ANS team responds quickly to your fire damage emergency. Using advanced protocols and state-of-the-art restoration equipment, we get to work quickly to repair and restore your commercial property to its pre-loss condition. While restoring your property, we always keep your tenant's care and comfort in mind.
Our fire restoration services in Weston are comprehensive and include the following:
- Rapid Mobilization and Response
- Overall Catastrophe Management
- Emergency Board-Up Services
- Debris Removal and Disposal
- Apartment Content Inventory and Cleaning
- Soot and Smoke Removal Services
- Water Extraction
- HVAC Cleaning and Decontamination
- Shoring Installment to Secure Buildings
- Interior & Exterior Renovations
Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
It's imperative to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side during a fire crisis.
When you call ANS, our fire restoration experts can help walk you through the steps you need to take once a fire occurs. This allows us to quickly gain control of the restoration project on your behalf. Once we have inspected your property, we'll provide a detailed report and scope of work for your fire damage restoration project.
ANS repairs all property damage caused by soot, smoke, and fire. Our IICRC-certified fire restoration teams construct the best plan to quickly get your building back to its pre-loss condition.
Because every property is different, each fire restoration project for apartment buildings is too. However, every fire disaster will have a similar process and will often include:
Your fire restoration process begins when you call our headquarters. Our specialist will ask you a series of questions about the fire event that occurred. That way, we can arrive on-site with the proper resources and equipment.
Fire Damage Assessment
Our fire damage restoration team will carefully inspect the entirety of your apartment complex, from building to building and room to room. We do so to determine the extent of your apartment's fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a comprehensive restoration plan.
First responders like firefighters must break windows and cut holes in roofs to slow fire growth and save lives. Once the fire is out, our team can get to work, boarding up holes and constructing temporary fencing around the property.
If there is water damage associated with your apartment fire, we'll remove most of the water immediately. From there, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to help complete the drying process.
Smoke and Soot Removal
Within minutes of a fire, walls, electronics, and other surfaces are covered in soot. Smoke and ash continue to cause damage to every inch of your apartment building. That's why ANS uses specialized equipment to remediate smoke damage and remove odors. This process is often labor-intensive and can take time, especially for large fire damage restoration needs.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Using a variety of restoration and cleaning techniques, our team will help clean restorable items and sanitize units for safety.
Getting your apartment buildings to their pre-fire conditions is our ultimate goal. Depending on the size and scope of the fire restoration job, minor repairs like painting, drywall replacement, and new carpet installation might be needed. You might also need major structural renovations like re-siding, re-roofing, new window installation, floor replacement, and more.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
If you're a property manager or own multifamily residential buildings, the thought of an apartment fire is terrifying. What starts as a small fire can quickly turn into a catastrophic event, with your entire complex up in flames. However, one of the best ways of preventing these fires is to know more about them.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Turn Off Heat Sources
Data shows that a large number of apartment fires begin with cooking. Often, these fires are caused by the ignition of common items like rags, curtains, wallpapers, and bags. Encourage tenants to keep their kitchens and cooking areas clear of combustibles. Never leave a stove unattended for long, and don't leave burners on by themselves. Unintentional mishaps like leaving heat sources on are common causes of fires that can be prevented with a little forethought.
Like heat sources, electrical malfunctions are also common causes of fires in apartment complexes. It's hard to prevent all electrical malfunctions, but you can tell tenants to avoid bad habits. Tips include never using extension cords as permanent solutions and never using a cable if the third prong is missing.
Appliances are a part of everyone's lives. They're also standard equipment in most apartment units. But if tenants don't take proper precautions, these useful tools can spark deadly fires.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
No matter how large or small, fires are nightmare scenarios for entrepreneurs with commercial properties. Fire damage can completely ruin storefronts and offices, leaving charred remains and burned-up files before firefighters arrive. To make matters worse, soot and smoke damage ruin your businesses' furniture, HVAC system, carpet, walls, and windows.
To eliminate health hazards and restore your business to its pre-fire condition, you need to bring in a team of professionals with years of experience in fire damage remediation. At ANR, we use commercial-grade equipment and cutting-edge tools to clean up the aftermath of your fire and rebuild your property. That way, you can get back to running your business and providing for your family.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Remove Smoke and Fire Damage
One of the most common causes of large commercial loss stems from smoke and fire damage. Of course, these disasters cause injuries and fatalities. But they also generate tremendous amounts of damage, rot, mold, and harm to structures. Not to mention the devastation that fire damage has to the appearance and livability of the facility. Fire damage restoration companies restore - and also prevent - the root cause of the fire. Electrical outlets, wires, and other fire-prone items will all be addressed to prevent a subsequent disaster.
The best fire damage restoration professionals are highly-trained, exceptionally skilled, and properly equipped to deal with every aspect of a commercial fire. From handling major renovations to taking care of the lingering effects of smoke damage, pro fire restoration companies take care of it for you. Hiring ANR means you'll be working with technicians who have the knowledge, tools, and materials to get the job done right the first time.
When you start the claim process with your businesses' insurance company, they'll ask whether you've hired a fire damage restoration company. That's because companies like Atlas prevent further damage from occurring and calculate an estimate of your total loss. You can submit this estimate to your insurance company, which may then provide you with resources to complete your company's disaster recovery mt-md-1
Fire damage restoration is a crucial, complex process that professionals must perform. With decades of expertise, unmatched restoration quality, and the scalability for any job, Atlas National Renovations is well-equipped to be your single source for commercial fire damage restoration in Weston, TX. We are specially equipped to make difficult restoration projects easy for owners.
When a fire disaster strikes, you need a timely response from a trustworthy team of experts. Don't settle for a mediocre fire restoration partner. Choose ANR to get the job done right the first time. Contact our office today to learn more about our fire restoration services in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.214-814-4300
Latest News in Weston, TX
Judge dismisses lawsuit asking for removal of Round Rock trustee
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit asking for the removal of Round Rock school board Trustee Danielle Weston for official misconduct and bribery. The suit was dismissed on Wednesday for lack of jurisdiction, according to a court order by visiting judge James Morgan in the Williamson County 425th District Court.The lawsuit claimed that Weston forwarded confidential district emails to people involved in a lawsuit against the school district and also accepted donations from some of them. It also alleged Weston committed bribe...
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit asking for the removal of Round Rock school board Trustee Danielle Weston for official misconduct and bribery. The suit was dismissed on Wednesday for lack of jurisdiction, according to a court order by visiting judge James Morgan in the Williamson County 425th District Court.
The lawsuit claimed that Weston forwarded confidential district emails to people involved in a lawsuit against the school district and also accepted donations from some of them. It also alleged Weston committed bribery by giving her financial supporters access to district emails instead of requiring them to file a public information request for them.
Morgan wrote in an email sent to Joseph McCullough, who sued Weston, and to Weston's lawyer on Wednesday that the issue in the lawsuit was a political one "and not a legal matter."
"It's a case for the voters in the district to decide at an election," Morgan said.
Weston said in an email on Thursday that "the dismissal of the bizarre and frivolous lawsuit filed by a Tyler, Tx resident comes as a surprise to no one."
"He is an ally of the current board majority and offered no evidence of wrongdoing, just mud-slinging," she said. "It was just another example of the never ending harassment tactics directed at me but intended to silence and intimidate the students and families in RRISD who have suffered under the reign of the board majority."
McCullough said he previously lived in Round Rock. He said the suit and independent investigation paid for by Round Rock school district show "concrete evidence of wrongdoing by Danielle Weston in her official capacity as a board member."
A law firm hired by the school board issued a report in June that said Weston had "likely" violated local board policy and also violated legal board policy by forwarding confidential district emails.
"Although the case was dismissed, we have shone a light on how Danielle Weston and her allies have broken the law and upended the district's business to serve both their personal interests and the authoritarian goals of Christian nationalism," said McCullough. "Without accountability, she will continue to act with impunity, and others will follow her lead," he said.
Weston said she never forwarded any confidential emails. She also said the school board "used taxpayers to investigate me without authorization and then they never spoke to me or my attorney for our input."
McCullough filed the lawsuit in April.
The visiting district judge granted Weston's plea for lack of jurisdiction and McCullough appealed to the 3rd Court of Appeals in June. The court dismissed the lawsuit in July for lack of jurisdiction, saying there was no signed ruling from a lower court judge on the case.
Weston and Trustee Mary Bone have long been at odds with the other board members.
In September 2021, they filed a lawsuit against the other five school board members over a censure vote that was scheduledto be taken against the two women. Both Bone and Weston had disrupted a board meeting, according to the censure resolutions, by repeatedly insisting on calling for a vote on spacing rules that limited public seating due to COVID-19, even though the matter was not on the agenda.
That lawsuit was later dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
In June, Bone filed a lawsuit against Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez, alleging he has conducted unauthorized investigations into Weston using district funds.
The Power Issue: Graham Weston Is Reinventing Downtown San Antonio
When Graham Weston bought a 32-story office tower on the West Side of downtown San Antonio in 1992 (and renamed it Weston Centre), the then 27-year-old entrepreneur never imagined that it would be the first piece of a sweeping transformation he’d lead in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Nearly two and a half decades later, Weston, who grew up on a ranch near New Braunfels, is a billionaire cofounder of the San Antonio cloud computing company Rackspace. And the blocks surrounding Weston Centre form the heart of a thrivi...
When Graham Weston bought a 32-story office tower on the West Side of downtown San Antonio in 1992 (and renamed it Weston Centre), the then 27-year-old entrepreneur never imagined that it would be the first piece of a sweeping transformation he’d lead in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Nearly two and a half decades later, Weston, who grew up on a ranch near New Braunfels, is a billionaire cofounder of the San Antonio cloud computing company Rackspace. And the blocks surrounding Weston Centre form the heart of a thriving new tech district that his real-estate development company, Weston Urban, has stitched together by renovating multiple buildings and erecting new ones (including downtown’s first new office high-rise in 25 years). Then there are Weston’s philanthropic donations, such as a recent one to help fund a “massive expansion” of UTSA’s downtown campus. We mapped out a few key pieces of Weston’s downtown reinvention.
In 2016 Weston joined H-E-B in helping to fund the creation of a new tech-focused magnet school downtown. Opened in 2017, the campus is the first in what the San Antonio Independent School District intends to become a citywide network called the Centers for Applied Science and Technology. Plans for two more centers are already under way on the city’s South Side.
The creek runs through the new tech district, and as the city has worked to transform it into a smaller version of the River Walk, Weston has been buying nearby land with the purpose of building a mixed-use development. “We’re at the very beginning of the evolution of how the creek will influence downtown,” he says.
Opened in 1928, the 21-story building was the nation’s first air-conditioned high-rise. Weston snapped it up in 2017, and it’s currently under renovation.
The three-story nineteenth-century building, purchased by Weston Urban in 2016 and fully renovated, is now “one-hundred-percent tech-focused,” Weston says.
The first new office high-rise in downtown San Antonio in a quarter century, the glassy and angular 23-story tower, developed by Weston Urban, is expected to open next summer.
Roughly half of this structure is occupied by Geekdom, a tech-focused coworking space and start-up incubator that Weston launched in 2011. “Before Geekdom, there were a handful of tech companies scattered across the city, but there was no place the industry was concentrated, no place for like-minded people to connect,” he says. Google Fiber also has its San Antonio headquarters in the building, along with a Rackspace-owned tech education center called the Open Cloud Academy and multiple restaurants.
“This is the biggest thing to happen to downtown San Antonio in fifty years,” Weston says. His recent $15 million donation was the largest private gift the university has ever received and is part of a $200 million public-private investment aimed at more than doubling the number of students attending the downtown campus. Among other things, the expansion will establish a new school of data science—which will, of course, feed more tech workers into the area. “I can’t wait to see all those backpacks.”
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Reinventing Downtown San Antonio.” Subscribe today.
Megatel Group Launches Prefabricated Home Park Platform with Development of Approximately 700-Home Park in Dallas Suburb of Weston
DALLAS, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Megatel Group, one of the largest private homebuilders in the nation, today announced that the company has launched its prefabricated home park product line, with the development of a nearly 700-prefabricated-home park near the city of Weston, a Dallas suburb."We are pleased to develop our first of many prefabricated home parks and to provide a modern, yet affordable housing option for individuals with low to moderate income levels," said Zach Ipour, co-founder. "This development p...
DALLAS, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Megatel Group, one of the largest private homebuilders in the nation, today announced that the company has launched its prefabricated home park product line, with the development of a nearly 700-prefabricated-home park near the city of Weston, a Dallas suburb.
"We are pleased to develop our first of many prefabricated home parks and to provide a modern, yet affordable housing option for individuals with low to moderate income levels," said Zach Ipour, co-founder. "This development project in Weston marks the launch of our prefabricated home park product line, Golden Gate Communities. Within the next five years, we plan to build and develop 10,000 prefabricated homes across the nation through this platform."
Golden Gate Communities will feature unique, luxury amenities, including an amenity center with a café, fitness center, and resort-style swimming pool. Additional amenities include access to outdoor activities, such as pickle ball, bocce ball, volleyball, and a playground. Five acres at each community will be dedicated to amenities such as a farmers' market, which will provide residents access to local produce and will ultimately support small business owners and agricultural workers. These amenities are exclusive to Golden Gate residents and not available to the public unlike Megatel's recent lagoon developments.
Ipour explains that prefabricated home communities are the future of affordable housing as median home prices continue to rise. "As material costs and labor shortages continue to negatively impact the industry, fabricated home parks will offer quality affordable housing options for individuals that cannot pursue the American dream of owning a home. Through our Golden Gate Communities, we will change the perception of trailer parks and provide innovative and modernized communities that are attainable for people of all price points, budgets and lifestyles."
Once completed, Megatel's prefabricated home park in Weston will feature approximately 700 prefabricated homes ranging in size from 550 square feet to 2,400 square feet. Residents will benefit from the community's location within the Celina Independent School District, which earned an A rating from Niche.com.
Currently, Megatel Homes has two other prefabricated home development projects underway near the Dallas suburbs of Prosper and Celina. The firm is planning to expand the Golden Gate operation extensively throughout Texas.
Ipour adds that a shortage of residential construction labor and materials is contributing to the low inventory of available homes across the nation. "Nationwide, there are approximately 250,000 construction jobs sitting vacant and prices as well as lead times of building materials have skyrocketed, with prices of some materials increasing by more than 15%. Our new prefabricated home park platform is an innovative approach to provide affordable housing options and to ultimately expand our customer base."
About Megatel HomesFounded in 2006, Megatel Homes has emerged as one of the most successful homebuilders in the state of Texas. The company has had considerable growth, with more than 100 developments comprised of several thousand homes, completed since its founding. The company currently has more than 100 communities and is rapidly spreading throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
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SOURCE Megatel Homes
Weston AgriFood Sales Program prepares students for career in competitive market
Louis “Manny” Acosta ’21, who graduated with a sales minor from the Weston AgriFood Sales Program in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, isn’t worried about finding a job. In fact, you could say a job already found him.“I was giving a presentation on a specif...
Louis “Manny” Acosta ’21, who graduated with a sales minor from the Weston AgriFood Sales Program in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, isn’t worried about finding a job. In fact, you could say a job already found him.
“I was giving a presentation on a specific cardiovascular drug as part of Texas A&M’s collegiate sales competition, and one of the representatives of the pharmaceutical company that made the drug heard my presentation,” Acosta recounted. “Soon after that, they made me an offer to be a pharmaceutical representative for the company. In fact, I’ll be working in the Austin area as a dedicated rep for that same drug I presented about at the competition.”
Acosta is just one example of current and former students in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who have gotten a solid foothold in a sales career as a result of the lessons and practical experiences provided through the Weston AgriFood Sales Program.
“The program is designed to prepare students for a career in business-to-business sales,” said Clark Springfield, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service professor of the practice and program director. “The classes in the program are essential to students looking to pursue a career in professional sales, wanting to expand their professional network or explore career development opportunities.”
Springfield, who has more than 30 years in sales management and marketing training, was appointed as interim program director in 2019. He took over for Kerry Litzenberg, Ph.D., who had provided leadership for the program until his retirement.
The program began in the early 1990s and later expanded its sales and special topics classes. In fall 2017, a sales minor was recognized for the Department of Agricultural Economics.
Over the years the program grew to include business-to-business selling, a foundation sales class, shadowing opportunities with professional salespersons, developing and giving presentations, customer relationship management, negotiating and building emotional intelligence.
He said the program’s goal is to provide students with the resources they need to be successful by teaching beyond the classroom, including creating high-impact, role-play scenarios with state-of-the-art technology and bridging the gap between industry and academia.
“We work with a wide variety of industry representatives and corporate partners to meet employers’ growing demand and introduce the students to different industries,” he said.
Program graduates have found careers in sales or sales management in agricultural products and equipment, medical devices, insurance, cyberspace and technical industries, and other fields.
At the end of this semester, there were 225 students in the program representing many departments in the College as well as 29 departments outside of it. So far, more than 140 students have completed the sales minor. Another 27 are on track to complete it in December.
“The program gained even more momentum with funding and participation by industry, especially that of Graham Weston ’86, who made a sizeable donation to get the sales minor up and running,” Springfield said.
Weston, for whom the program is named, is the co-founder and former CEO and chairman of tech giant Rackspace Hosting Inc. Weston earned his degree in agricultural economics at Texas A&M.
“Students in the program are exposed to products, services, customers and competition,” Springfield said. “Our goal is to prepare the student to make an immediate difference in their new sales position. We train them to be prepared not only on the technical aspects of sales but also the more personal and human aspects.”
He said the program provides a minimum of 150 hours of classroom training in sales, including at least 25 interactive role-play opportunities for students to practice their sales and interviewing skills with industry professionals.
“Our philosophy has always been you perform what you practice,” said Codie Wright, who completed the sales class and now serves as assistant program director.
Wright said that, in addition to building students’ technical skillsets and providing practical experiences, the program emphasizes the development of soft skills and the application of emotional intelligence.
“It’s important that the students learn to understand the buyer’s needs and to communicate empathetically with others,” she said. “These skills not only prepare them in business-to-business sales but are also extremely useful in the event they need to apply them in the role of sales manager. We give students behavioral and personality assessments to help them with self-awareness and provide them with a better understanding of themselves and their buyers.”
She said a significant portion of the real-life, hands-on training in which students learn to apply these soft skills and emotional intelligence comes from their role-play experiences.
“We provide students with multiple opportunities to prepare for and interact with industry professionals so they can better understand how to present effectively and get insights into what some of the buyers’ concerns and issues might be.”
Julia Jordan ’10, another former student of the program and now managing director at the Dallas-Fort Worth-based Goosehead Insurance, said the company, which has offices throughout the U.S., has hired numerous graduates of the Weston AgriFood Sales Program.
“Texas A&M is our favorite college to recruit from,” she said. “In 2021, we have hired about 75 A&M graduates from various business and marketing programs. At least 20-25 of those we hired this year were graduates of the Weston AgriFood Sales Program.”
Jordan described the relationship between Texas A&M and Gooseneck Insurance as an organic one.
“The work ethic, desire to be coached and humility the students learn in these programs translates naturally into our corporate culture,” she said. “They are exactly the type of people who thrive in our company. We not only have dozens of Texas A&M grads who are salespeople, several have also grown into managerial and supervisory positions.”
She noted that what sets the program apart for their company is their representatives’ opportunity to work directly with Weston AgriFood Sales Program students.
“Students get to have true-to-life practice sessions with us and get our immediate feedback as professionals who already know what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “It helps them develop the hard skills they need and to learn all the sales process steps. They get a solid and realistic idea of what they need to excel in a sales career.”
Acosta said the program thoroughly prepared him for his new sales position as a pharmaceutical representative.
“The Weston AgriFood Sales Program gave me the opportunity to practice and apply what I learned with people who were in the industry and get their feedback. There’s no other program like it. It really gave me an advantage in establishing my career.”
Former students of the program provide insight on what they learned. Click the image.
Kentucky man reels in likely world-record alligator gar from Texas river
TRINITY RIVER, Texas – To say Arthur Weston was holding on tight is an understatement.The Kentucky angler just snagged a gigantic river monster on a journey where no man has gone before while it swam in a Texas river.When Weston stepped aboard the "Garship Enterprise" with ...
TRINITY RIVER, Texas – To say Arthur Weston was holding on tight is an understatement.
When Weston stepped aboard the "Garship Enterprise" with Captain Kirk Kirkland, little did he know he would add another notch to his belt of 40 world records.
He was fishing last Sunday about an hour and a half from Houston when a 251-pound alligator gar landed on his line.
The Union, Kentucky, world record holder said he flies to Houston to target alligator gar, where he fishes alongside Kirkland, a species specialist.
As a record hunter, Weston is a member of the International Game Fish Association as an angler to accomplish global notoriety. This particular trip focused on the line class records.
"I already have a couple of alligator gar line class records, and on this particular trip, prior to this large fish, I had two new records that I obtained for two smaller fish on a different line," he said.
This was the third record he was going for which happened to be on an 80-pound test line. Prior to Weston’s catch, the largest fish on record for that was 191 pounds set in 2015 by another angler.
"I crushed it," he laughed.
'It literally pulled our boat around in circles'
Weston said he was using pieces of carp as bait and waited by the bank until the river monster showed up.
"They're kind of an interesting fish," he said. "They don't gobble down their food right away. They will run with the bait in their mouth, and it takes a while for them to move it past their teeth and down into their throat, where traditionally you can set the hook and land the fish."
So, fishermen must chase it around – sometimes for hours before it’s lifted out of the water.
"What was interesting about this one … it had had not done the traditional thing where it would start to move around before it would swallow the bait," Weston said.
At one point, Weston and Kirkland thought this catch might be an actual alligator because it was so strong.
"It literally pulled our boat around in circles," Weston said. "It was pulling us around the river."
As the fish finally started to get close enough to the boat where Weston was able to start to raise it, the alligator gar came up from underneath the boat. Weston had only seen the nose of it when Kirkland said, "That's the one that you want."
As Weston got a glimpse of it, he started to lift it up into the front of the boat, where his guide was able to lasso around the line and cinch it, which is a legal way of landing the fish.
The whole catch took about 25 minutes.
"It's very, very uncommon … to catch one at 250 or plus is like less than 1%," Weston said. The fish was officially recorded as 45.5 inches around and 90.5 inches long. It was not the 279-pound all-tackle record that was set in 1951, but it was the biggest one of any other IGFA record.
The fish is estimated to be 80 to 100 years old at that size, Weston said.
"If you were just a generic angler with a common rod and reel set up, it probably would have been impossible to catch it," he said.
After well-documenting the fish’s size and weight for record purposes, it was released alive back into the water.
Weston said his most impressive record was also an alligator gar he caught last year.
"I caught a 110-pound alligator gar on 2-pound test line," he said. "Which means with your hands, it's like baby hair you can pull it and the line would break."
That record took over 2.5 hours to catch – a near-impossible catch, but a tale Weston still loves to tell.
As for his latest fishing adventure, Weston admits there was some luck that the fish bit his line.
"But we were pretty well-prepared for anything, which helps a lot when you're record hunting," he said.