Update 12:21 p.m: A two-alarm fire broke out The Alley Theatre around 11:15 this morning. It appears to have been caused by construction workers doing welding work in the Hubbard Theater near the roof of the building.
No one was hurt in the fire. The Alley is undergoing renovations and its productions are ongoing at the University of Houston. It will not reopen until Fall of 2015.
Alley Managing Director Dean Gladden said, "We're in demolition right now. The whole interior has been stripped down so there was not a lot in the theater to catch fire."
Gladden was working in a nearby office when the construction workers set off the alarm.
Fire department spokesperson Kenyetta Parker confirmed that the fire appears to have started in duct work around insulation. When firefighters arrived the structure had already been cleared of all personal.
Gladden wanted to make sure that Houstonians understood that the theater is not operating during this hiatus, so the only people inside the building were construction workers.
Asked if this creates a problem for their scheduled renovations, he agreed, saying it would slow them down, but suspects that the cause of the fire will be quickly determined.
He pointed out that the turret to the building had acted as a chimney drawing the fire upwards. Seats and risers had already be removed from the building.
Several units from the Houston Fire Department have responded to a two-alarm fire at the Alley Theatre in downtown Houston. Early reports indicate an electrical fire started on top floor of the building, near some a/c duct repairs.
Smoke could be seen coming from the roof of the theater, which is currently undergoing $46.5 million renovation. Construction crews were evacuated from the building and no injuries have been reported.
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Here is a video of the fire, captured by The Texas Tenors:
— The Texas Tenors (@thetexastenors) September 11, 2014
Houston Press reporters and photographers are at the scene and we will bring you more information as soon as possible.