The Sorry Scene on West Dallas St., the Morning After the Axis Apartments Fire

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:


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

. . . from yesterday evening, after the fire:

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

. . . and from this morning, after a good night’s demo work:

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

“Last night they continued to fight the fire and knockdown the structure,” reports the reader. “After more than a year of living with the noise, the exterior construction was almost complete across the street from me. I was looking forward to some peace and quiet . . . as compared to cutting bricks with a rotary saw, I mean.”

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

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Pictures of a Disappearance

20 Comment

  • Geez, what a fucking mess–

  • And folks, there is proof positive why the stairwell is the safest place to be in the event of a fire

  • I can’t wait for a complete report as to what started the fire and why it spread so qucikly and easily. And not just that “it was windy” either. I mean how are apartments built without effective fire break seperation?

  • @J: Extremely subtle. I almost bit. 10/10.

  • Now the question becomes whether Axis rebuilds, or takes the insurance payment, razes the rest and sells the land. They could actually come out better for it from a pure profit standpoint.

  • @ J

    It may be structurally sound and may protect you from the flames, but you can’t escape the smoke which is usually what kills people before the flames.

  • @GlenW….it was still under construction – none of the fire breaks were installed yet….it was open dry wood framing and wind, a bad combination

  • I didn’t say spend all day in the stairwell, but it’s definitely the first place to go. Once the building was complete the stairwell would likely have been pressurized as soon as the alarm was triggered, keeping the smoke out for as long as possible.

  • Thats a perfectly good parking garage left there. Someone will build something.

  • Luxury apartments my arse, wood framed tinder box built far too close to a 100+ year old cemetery. Much preferred the field and the old oaks. As your neighbor sorry your window was broken, we lucked out down the street and didn’t even have to deal with the smoke, though sadly I believe Chevron is still closed (no beer). I know they’ll probably rebuild this, and I’m not looking forward to it at all.

  • I live about 5 blocks Northeast of Rice Village. When I came home yesterday, my yard and pool were covered with debris/ash/soot from the fire. Amazing work by HFD to keep it contained to just that structure. Also glad I have a reclaimed slate roof… just in case.

  • I feel so badly for the neighbors who lived through a year of construction, and now this, only to be put back in limbo wondering what is going into what used to be a green field.

  • That entire area is gonna have that smokey smell for quite a while.

  • I wouldn’t be so sure about the parking garage staying put for a rebuild. Depending on what the specific heat exposure was for the concrete, it very likely lost a significant percentage of its strength. Anything above 400 degrees is going to compromise its strength. At roughly 700 degrees, its strength starts to degrade very, very quickly. The parking garage was surrounded on three sides by the inferno, and judging by the intensity of the fire, I’m going to guess the 700-degree point was easily surpassed. Simply put, the structural integrity of the garage has probably been compromised sufficiently enough to warrant demolition in the interests of public safety. If it wasn’t then it will be the one saving grace for the developer.

  • Reminds me of the BP Horizon.

  • An approximate $50 MILLION loss. Supposedly caused by a welders torch. What a mess…JLB is bringing a huge crane down from Dallas to begin the demolition. And the people who live across W.Dallas have to endure all of the noise and mess ,again…. They never should have built near the Magnolia Cemetery. The spirits of the deceased DO NOT like it when buildings go up too close to the burial sites… Shades of Poltergeist. !!!!!

  • Good to hear that the neighboring houses made it through safely. Hope it wasn’t too weird to have strangers (myself included) walking around your driveway and front yard.

  • They should leave it sitting there all charred and crumbly for years and years. At least, that’s what happens when a crack house burns in the Third Ward.

  • @Patrick. I truly hope your comment was sarcasm… It seems like more and more people are commenting how “the building should have never been built next to a grave yard, etc…” It’s a little ridiculous to me. I feel as though people forget we are the fourth largest city in the US, and growing quickly. It’s totally unreasonable to suggest that all graveyards in Houston have a 50 meter buffer zone or anything of that nature. How about we just treat the grave yard with respect and don’t build, you know, on it. The rest is fair game, as per the zoning laws of Houston.

  • The garage concrete has exposed rebar on many surfaces exposed to the heat. I would imagine that it will come down unless they can replace the pre-cast sections with new sections.