Massive Montrose Fire Burns Agora Cafe and Antiques Store

Categories: Spaced City

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Photos by Craig Hlavaty
Click here to see a slideshow of last night's blaze and this morning's aftermath.

Last night in the midst of Halloween drinking festivities and the Montrose Costume Crawl, Agora Cafe and Antique Warehaus burned down. The two businesses, at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy, were destroyed by a three-alarm blaze as costumed revelers watched from across the street.

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Agora was an often-crowded wine bar and a popular place for couples and students to chat and study. The bar also featured regular belly-dancing performances.

The blaze, which started just after midnight, called for at least 13 firetrucks, 100 fire personnel, dozens of police, and thanks to the Halloween holiday it was one of the most well-documented fires in recent Houston history. There were no injuries or fatalities, though two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion after battling the incident.

Funny enough I was on the scene to be able to take pictures of the raging inferno, while I was still in my costume, which was a sort of homage to Mad Men star Christina Hendricks. A crowd of random pop culture references amassed across the street to watch the fire consume fist the antique store and then most of Agora. You could see MTV's Daria, Antoine Dodson, a few vampires, a gaggle of Gaga girls, and almost every video game character you can imagine taking pictures and video of the blaze.

No reports yet on what caused the fire. The Chronicle reported that the damage to Agora, though extensive, could be repaired.


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