Culture / Newsy

Fire Breaks Out at Iconic River Oaks Shopping Center, Causes $1 Million in Damages: Sparks and Flames Shoot Into the Air Near Historic Theatre

BY // 06.18.18
photography Miranda Proctor

As of 10:30 am, it was raining in River Oaks. But the air around River Oaks Shopping Center still smelled of smoke.

A fire broke out in Houston’s iconic shopping center just before 2 am Monday morning. Sparks and flames shot out of an electrical box near Steinway Piano Gallery, Nail-Tique, an art gallery, and the historic River Oaks Theatre.

After an air conditioner on the roof overheated, an electrical short went through the wires and ignited the electrical box.

While the smoke damage to the buildings  — and possibly the theater — appeared minimal this morning, firefighters said it totaled $1 million.

All of the businesses, except for a nightclub, were closed at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.

The businesses looked largely unharmed this morning, with a few smoke stains on the side facing the River Oaks Shopping Center’s back street, McDuffie. Blackened debris, including trash cans, chairs, and tables, was clumped in a pile in the parking lot behind Nail-Tique.

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A few blue-and-white trucks from Blackmon Mooring, a 24-hour residential and commercial energy response company, were also parked in the lot. Blackmon handles fire, smoke, and water damage.

Nail-Tique had been cordoned off with caution tape. Steinway Pianos was also temporarily closed. The owners of the Steinway dealership declined to comment.

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