She Didn’t Start the Axis Apartments Fire, but She Was Trying to Fight It

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.


But she’s no firestarter: “If what I said in that hyped-up 20-second video inspired someone to go commit such a heinous act of arson and destruction, then, lord, I regret that. It’s just awful,” she tells Falkenberg. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but witness reports have focused on the possibility that it began after a welding accident on the roof.

Keel does have some healthy-living advice for would-be renters of the Axis Apartments if they do get rebuilt, or whatever gets put up in their place: “If you move into a home that is part of a structure that has been wounded like this, set on fire and burned to nothingness, then hateful energy has scarred that structure. It’s kind of like when you walk into a room and two people have had a big fight and they’re not saying a word and you go ‘am I interrupting something?’ That energy is real. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

Photos: Trisha Keel (graves); Linda Rojas (fire)

Words That Burn

14 Comment

  • “feng-shui expert and holistic-life-coaching grad student”… let me repeat that to myself. Was the Easter Bunny not available to give a better perspective? I guess he is kind of busy this time of year…

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I get really irked when people have all kinds of ideas (and restrictions) about what others can do with their private property. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of apartments going on this parcel, but get over it already, people! The project fell within city planning guidelines and was approved. Anyone still railing against the (almost) completed project- before the fire occurred- is just crying sour grapes.

  • “Their decaying energy feeds off your vital life force. ”

    Oh come on. Really?

  • Just because you can’t experience something with any of the senses or any scientific unit of measure, and the very concept of it only exists in your own imagination, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

    Oh wait. Yes it does.

  • Feng-shui: an up-charge on design fees for the gullible.

    I hope she thanks the Chronicle and the news station for the free advertising.

  • I’m not all into the energies of stuff and all that, but it would have to be a Dallas company that would decide to put a complex like that right next to the famous of Houston like that. I don’t know how the cemetery would have ultimately looked, but what I saw didn’t look like the ideal placement of the building to still give the cemetery, lets say, it’s energy. (haha)

  • With good, logical arguments like that, how can anyone doubt her?

  • Has anyone looked at the adjacencies of apartments and commercial uses that abut Glenwood Cemetery on Washington or the row of town homes and whatever/whenever Regent Square will build adjacenct to College Park Cemetery on Dallas Street? This is hardly a new phenomenon. So it is built close to the property line. In the absence of any stringent setback guidelines, what would you expect the developer to do?If he put the swimming pool there, some wingnut would cry foul. And based on the cemetery’s website info,
    this isn’t exactly an active burial ground.

  • Hey go easy on her, it was energy that built this town.

  • I feel like it is really hard to find a place to live in Houston right now where you can be assured that you won’t be dealing with imminent construction. I know people that have moved in to places that were sold to them as having ‘a view’ only to find the their ‘view’ gone by construction within a few months. It seems that a patio looking out onto that graveyard would really go for a premium. It seems very peaceful especially on the side facing east into the graveyard.

  • My wife and I used to live in the Memorial Heights apartments and our window looked out at Glenwood Cemetery with graves right on the other side of the fence. I’d say living next to it was awesome, peaceful, quiet, and we had some nice bike rides through it. I learned a lot about Houstonians before me and got a newfound respect for those in there. If anything, it probably strengthened my “life force”.

  • Houston is just trying to be as cool as San Francisco. Or hot, I guess.

  • In fact, there is decaying matter in every square foot out there…
    especially if it’s a green, pretty setting that everyone would like to live next to.

    Anyhoo, feng shui is a real thing, in my mind. Not the ‘chrysanthemum in the northeast corner’ sort of thing. Rather, it has to do with human appreciation and experience, and, some things are antithetical to each other: Toilet in the kitchen? Bed in the garage?

    Only the exhuming of a decayed body with diesel-belching back-hoe would be unpleasant in my Axis Apts breakfast nook.
    And how often could that happen!?!

  • She really needs to stop talking!

  • Way back some friends of mine lived in the middle of a huge cemetery as caretakers. It was peaceful and fun to visit. They had the best parties.