01/04/16 1:45pm

The Eagle, 611 Hyde Park Blvd, Avondale, Houston, 77006

A Saturday-afternoon fire has temporarily flushed Montrose bar The Eagle from its roost at 611 Hyde Park Blvd — day-drinkers at the hotspot’s newish location reported smelling smoke and seeing lights flicker just before a manager ran downstairs to the first-floor bar area in the converted Depression Era-home to hustle patrons and staffers out. Owner Jay Allen told KTRK’s Deborah Wrigley that the permit had been approved for an already-installed sprinkler system in the building, but the City hadn’t hooked up the water yet. (No injuries were reported.)

Despite heavy smoke and fire damage to the second and third floors and water damage to the first, owner Jay Allen vows that the club will swoop back to its Montrose aerie (pictured above during the 2015 Pride season) as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Eagle is screaming again (albeit only on Sundays) at its old bayouside digs downtown — “the dungeon” in the basement space at 709 Franklin — until repairs on the Hyde Park building are completed.


Back To the Underground
07/09/15 2:15pm

Fire at Courtyard By Marriott Hotel, 18010 Park Row Dr., Ten Oaks, Park Row, Energy Corridor, Houston

12 hours after the Courtyard by Marriott under construction at the corner of Park Row and Barker Cypress burst into flames, fire crews are still dumping water on the building, a reader reports. Here’s a post-conflagration view of the soaking going on at Texas Western Hospitality’s hotel project. The 135-room, 4-story hotel on a 5.2-acre site at 18010 Park Row Dr., next door to the West Campus of Texas Children’s Hospital, had been scheduled to open in October. No injuries have been reported.

Photo: Brian Walz

Courtyard by Marriott
06/19/15 10:15am

When an unidentified arsonist wearing a face mask last Thursday spread what appears to be gasoline onto the railroad-track-facing back porch of the Cross Track Ice House at 200 Magnolia St. in Old Town Spring — just 2 miles southeast of the new ExxonMobil campus — footage of the scene and the fire’s initial moments from a security camera aimed at the porch somehow survived the blaze.


05/26/15 11:30am

Burnt Home at 116 Westheimer Rd. at Bagby St., Montrose, Houston

Burnt Home at 116 Westheimer Rd. at Bagby St., Montrose, HoustonWhile much of the rest of Houston is recovering from — or still dealing with — high water after last night’s torrential rains, the long-vacant house at 116 Westheimer Rd. is showing off the scars it incurred from a disaster of a different sort. A fire raged through the structure Friday night.

The 1904 building is adjacent to the Jus’ Mac macaroni and cheese outlet in the 106 Westheimer strip center at the corner of Bagby St. A Swamplot reader sent in these photos showing the home as it appeared this morning:


Fire This Time
05/22/15 3:30pm

Parking Garage, Mix at Midtown, Milam St. at Elgin St., Midtown, Houston

Parking Garage, Mix at Midtown, Milam St. at Elgin St., Midtown, HoustonThe parking garage behind the Mix at Midtown retail center between Louisiana and Milam south of Elgin St. is still in operation after last week’s fire, but photos sent to Swamplot yesterday from the scene show that the steel 3-level structure behind 24 Hour Fitness, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant, Piola, and other businesses facing Milam St. isn’t operating at capacity. At least a dozen parking spaces on the middle and top level are blocked off, noted as unsafe because of fire damage to the structure:


Stand Back
05/15/15 2:30pm

Fire at Mix at Midtown Parking Garage, Elgin St. at Milam St., Midtown, Houston

Click2Houston is now reporting that the garage at Elgin and Milam streets behind the 24 Hour Fitness at 3201 Louisiana St. “sustained heavy structural damage” after 3 cars parked inside caught on fire this morning. The confusing sounds of popping tires had some bystanders running for cover as flames were blazing, a reader tells Swamplot; with the fire out now, police are on site, along with 3 fire marshal Priuses now parked along Milam.


The Fire Mix at Midtown
10/02/14 1:15pm

Smoke Over New Karbach Brewery, Dacoma St. at Karbach St., Dacoma, Houston

If you’re wondering, like the person who took this photo earlier today, what the story is behind the smoke seen here coming out of the top of the new Karbach Brewing Co. building under construction at the corner of Karbach St. and Dacoma St., just west of Mangum Rd., there’s no need to worry: A small fire at the the construction site was put out quickly a short while ago with minimal damage, according to a company rep.

Karbach was rated last year as one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the U.S. The new 2-story, 19,000-sq.-ft. brewery building adjacent to its existing facility was designed by Three Square Design Group, and will include a public tap room and kitchen, along with a special-event space upstairs.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Your Beer Is Safe
09/23/14 10:15am

Fire at Spanky's Homemade Pizza and Bar, 7210 South Loop East, Gulfgate, Houston

A fire that broke out in the kitchen of Spanky’s Homemade Pizza early this morning did considerable damage to the structure, reports Click2Houston’s Courtney Gilmore. But if you’re wondering about the “kitchen staff wanted” sign posted outside, or how owner Frank Roache could possibly declare on camera that the restaurant, which has been open on the South Loop feeder road at Woodridge only since 1976, would be “back up and running in about 6 weeks,” here’s a little background:

The much larger Gabby’s Bar-B-Que next door to Spanky’s at 4659 Telephone Rd. closed down earlier this year.


Scooting Over to Telephone Rd.
09/19/14 1:45pm

Demolition of Axis Apartments Garage, 2400 West Dallas St., North Montrose, Houston

Remember the fire back in March at those apartments under construction on West Dallas next to the cemetery that destroyed the whole complex except for the parking garage? No big deal if you don’t, because you’d need to adjust your memory anyway. A reader notes to Swamplot that the surviving parking garage is now being demolished as well, months after the singed stick-frame structures around it at JLB Parters’ would-have-been Axis Apartments were carted away. So now you can remember the fire so bad they had to tear the whole thing down — though it took them a while to give up on the garage.


On Second Thought, Scrap That
09/11/14 12:30pm

WITH ACTORS AND COMPANY GONE, THE ALLEY THEATRE CATCHES FIRE Fire at Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonFire broke out late this morning at the Alley Theatre at 615 Texas Ave. fronting Jones Plaza downtown. The acting ensemble is performing at UH this season, to allow workers to complete a $46.5 million renovation of the brutalist concrete building and its parking-lot-tower appendages. Fire department officials are reporting that construction workers spotted smoke streaming from the building’s duct work, apparently from an electrical fire. Shortly before the fire started, construction photos of the roof being opened up above the main theater space were posted to the organization’s Facebook page [Click2Houston; Alley Theatre] Photo: Emma Q

03/27/14 2:00pm

Axis Apartments, 2400 West Dallas St., North Montrose, Houston

Axis Apartments, 2400 West Dallas St., North Montrose, HoustonWhat do you say when the apartment complex you’re featured on teevee news complaining is being built too close to gravesites bursts into flames the very next day? “I don’t think anything I said was incendiary,” feng-shui expert and holistic-life-coaching grad student Trisha Keel tells Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg, the day after the 368-unit Axis Apartments burned to the ground. “Although I’m a passionate person about this city,” she adds.

Keel, who runs a blog featuring feng-shui no-nos she encounters around town, had posted pics showing graves in the Magnolia Cemetery just steps away from north-facing ground-floor patios of the complex at 2400 West Dallas St. Among the dead: members of the Bammel, Wortham, and Halliburton families. “The dead are NOT good neighbors!” she wrote on her blog and Tumblr underneath the photo reproduced at top. “Their decaying energy feeds off your vital life force. Do not live among the dead.” Then she brought her complaints to the  mayor’s office to complain. And a reporter at TV station KHOU.


Words That Burn
03/26/14 11:30am

Burned Axis Apartments at 2400 West Dallas St. and Montrose Blvd., North Montrose, Houston

A reader reports this morning on the aftermath of the blaze yesterday that destroyed the Axis Apartments — from a balcony perch west of Montrose Blvd.: “The firemen are packing up this morning on West Dallas after continuing to fight the fire through the night. I live in one of the townhouses across the street from the fire yesterday. I got home from work in the evening to find my house in good shape, a little smokey and singed and a broken window but otherwise fine. The firemen sprayed down the fronts of the houses to keep them cool.”

Here’s an amazing sequence of views of the same section of the 5-story apartments JLB Partners was building at 2400 West Dallas, from before the fire:


Pictures of a Disappearance
03/26/14 10:15am

Construction Worker Jumping from Fourth Floor Balcony During Fire at 2400 W. Dallas St., North Montrose, HoustonThis video uploaded to YouTube by Karen Jones shows a construction worker seemingly trapped on a fourth-floor balcony of the blazing Axis Apartments in North Montrose yesterday afternoon. According to a construction supervisor working on the neighboring Finger Properties apartment complex who spoke to a Houston Chronicle reporter, the fire started on the northeast corner of the L-shaped structure’s roof. Jones doesn’t identify her filming location in the video, but it appears to be taken from an upper floor of a low-rise office building along Rylis St. in the American General complex. That would mean the imperiled worker was on a balcony facing north, and that the rescuing fire worker was on a ladder truck in the parking lot immediately west of the Magnolia Cemetery.


Jumping from the Flames
03/25/14 1:55pm

Fire at Axis Apartments, 2400 West Dallas St., North Montrose, Houston

Fire at Axis Apartments, 2400 West Dallas St., North Montrose, HoustonThose giant plumes of smoke billowing above North Montrose are coming from what were supposed to be the future Axis Apartments at the corner of West Dallas and Montrose Blvd. The 5-story, 368-unit apartment block under construction at 2400 West Dallas scoots up super close to the edge of Magnolia Cemetery — maybe a little too close? And the whole thing caught on fire earlier today, sending flames and dark clouds streaming southwestward. The wood-frame construction should provide plenty of fodder. The America General complex building has been evacuated, KHOU reports.

Developer JLB Partners bought the land from AIG in 2012.

Photos: Judith (top); Bill Bishop/KHOU

Flames in North Montrose
07/18/13 3:15pm

Firefighters are battling a smoky blaze this afternoon near the corner of 11th St. and Heights Blvd., next to the post office. A Swamplot reader writes in with this report:

Billowing flames and smoke are rising from the roof of a house at 1013 1015 Heights Blvd. Neighbors report that it is a two-story stucco historic home that was converted into apartments. A few years back, a porch was added but then exterior work on the remodel stopped. I couldn’t get close enough to take photos. Heights Blvd. is blocked off between 11th St. and 10th St.

Another reader sends in pix: