Even after he battled the deadly five-alarm blaze that killed four of his fellow Houston firefighters and took his legs after a roof collapsed, Capt. Bill Dowling is still fighting. One of the lucky ones that fateful afternoon in May, Dowling is the focus of a fundraiser this weekend organized by t ... More >>
The week began with a couple of fires; one forced a renowned sushi restaurant to close its doors, and the other took a brand-new creperie food truck off the road. Let's start with the badnews before taking a look at all of the new restaurants that opened this week. On Sunday, September 29, around 1 ... More >>
If you don't have a window, you might not realize it's 10 p.m. in parts of Houston. It's a dark and stormy night out there, as Edward George Bulwer-Lytton would say. Last night saw some major thunderstorm activity, with impressive lightning shows in some parts of town. (This being Houston, other ... More >>
Those KFC #iatethebones commercials have probably gone too far. Monday, at 3:55 a.m., a man who could have been battling rage and confusion simultaneously due to maybe eating the bone or not went to exact his revenge on the fried chicken food chain location at 2701 Yale. According to Houston Poli ... More >>
Dear Jerk-Off, As you know, a bunch of parents already rattled by last week's tragedy had to receive a letter from Franklin Elementary Principal Jilliane Raphiel today, notifying them that "a white powdery substance arrived on campus through the U.S. mail." Of course, "testing on the envelope and t ... More >>
On Thursday, September 13, Liberty Kitchen bartender David Brown was riding his bicycle -- his main means of transportation -- down a busy stretch of Studemont that crosses White Oak Bayou when he lost his balance and plummeted 40 feet over the railing into the bayou below. Luckily for Brown, the r ... More >>
A lot of smoke, and a little fire, slowed things to a crawl on the Southwest Freeway this afternoon. It could have been a lot worse if it had all happened an hour or two from now, given Houston drivers' penchant to rubberneck any little distraction that spices up their commute.
Roy de la Garza on what's next.
Roy de la Garza was already having a bad month before a fire destroyed his restaurant: His partner at The Broken Spoke Cafe, Catherine Duwez, had left unexpectedly to start a rival Belgian restaurant a few months prior, and business was down. "Cathy kind of threw us for a loop when she went over to ... More >>
Read about yesterday's fire at The Broken Spoke Cafe and see pictures/video from the scene. Until yesterday afternoon, The Broken Spoke Cafe was the tidy little bistro seen above. This morning, the restaurant sits shuttered after sustaining heavy fire and smoke damage when the abandoned duplex next ... More >>
Last month we reported that Dolce Vita was damaged by a fire that started early in the morning May 5 outside of the restaurant, in its Dumpster, before moving inside. Now KHOU is reporting that on June 13 the Houston Arson Bureau arrested 25-year-old Jacob Colby Garvin for allegedly setting the fire ... More >>
When late-night Midtown pizza joint Late Nite Pie burned down in February, our commenters were quick to call foul. "Two words: Stanky Arson," said commenter LoWest, in a reference to the pizza place's infamous Stanky Whore pizza. Chimed in commenter Padams below: "Two words: Insurance Fraud. That ... More >>
Photos by Chris GrayThe flames at Late Nite Pie had been extinguished by 6:45 a.m.Midtown pizza restaurant Late Nite Pie burned some time after closing in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. ABC13.com reported that the popular post-show destination suffered "major damage" and that Houston Fir ... More >>
A fire that started 45 minutes after Late Night Pie closed last night at 3 a.m. burned the pizza joint nearly to the ground. ABC-13 reported that the restaurant had suffered major damage as a result of the fire, which the Houston Fire Department battled for three hours. Public reaction to the news ... More >>
According to a criminal complaint on file in the Harris County Courthouse, Saul Abraham "Abe" Fiszer, an 18-year-veteran of the Houston Fire Department, had been struggling with pornography addiction for some time. He and his wife had been working through it, and Fiszer had sought counseling. Unf ... More >>
Houston's very own Randolph MantoothJohn P. Zepeda of the Metro PD's canine squad had performed a routine bomb search at the Ensemble light-rail station October 28. Finding nothing, he tried to head back. But train after train was filled with morning commuters headed downtown, so he and his ... More >>
With everyone watching the wildfires blazing around the state, it's a good time to think good thoughts about the people who risk their lives as firefighters. Each Houston Fire Department station has its own patch, and some of them are very cool. Or odd. Here are the 10 best, in our humble opinion. ... More >>
Google mapsA Montrose landmark of sorts, gone.For years, the Talk of the Town adult bookstore on Richmond just west of Montrose has been a creepy oddity -- from the outside, it looked like a shabby, about-to-fall-down barn, its fading red paint, lack of windows and seeming claustrophobic cond ... More >>
Oy, Snopocalypse 2011 turned into the worst of all scenarios: an ice storm, with no picturesque snow. Sorry, kids. Some areas are getting a little dusting of the white stuff, but most of us are looking outside at nothing much...except very dangerous ice. You should still think very hard bef ... More >>
Bad things keep happening to people in Shawn Roberts's orbit.
Jolanda Jones is effing cleared of allegationsThe latest brouhaha between city council member Jolanda Jones and the Houston Fire Department -- concerning claims she belittled firefighters while visiting the downtown station -- is overblown and involved no misconduct, the city's Office of Insp ... More >>
The latest version of the always popular Houston Firefighters Calendar, featuring men holding things while not wearing any shirts, is out. Saturday night was the release party, and the Facebook reviews are in.
Dean Jerome Wood has been charged in the death of 92-year-old Flora Ryan. Police report that officers were sent to assist Houston Fire Department personnel when Wood caused a disturbance at the scene of a sick call in the 1300 block of Redford. Ryan had been found unresponsive in a bathtub, ... More >>
Get ready for a boozy good time on Saturday.Get your palates primed for the Texas Vodka Throwdown this Saturday night at Caroline Collective (4820 Caroline). The event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m., is absolutely free (as long as you're over 21), but that's not the best part: The best part is ... More >>
Photo from KPRCThe fire that gutted the gay-friendly Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church was intentionally set, Houston Fire Department spokesman Patrick Trahan tells Hair Balls.Investigators have classified it as "incendiary," meaning it was not accidental.The intense blaze was spotted a little a ... More >>
Dynamo president Oliver Luck talked to media all morning about a new soccer stadium, what it will mean to the city and county and Dynamo fans, fun stuff like that. But when we spoke with him, he just wanted to talk about elephant sex. "What's the elephant gestation period, 18 months or something ... More >>
Photos by Craig Hlavaty...and thanks for all the 2 a.m. pho. The popular Vietnamese restaurant, which had been a staple of Midtown dining since 1978, has been mostly destroyed by a fire that started in the rear of the second floor of the building at 3403 Milam early this morning. Although f ... More >>
If you are planning for fireworks and more drama than a Maury "Who's the Daddy?" show when the new city council finally settles down next week ... well you will be in for a surprise. Expect a tame, courteous council that may run into bumps every once in a while for the most part.Annise Parker a ... More >>
Houston's wackiest, silliest married couple is at it again: Last Sunday night, Rachel Brown, wife of cocaine-enthusiast and medical-license-losing former surgeon Michael Brown (star of local television ads featuring his kids) called 911 because, per the offense report, "her husband is trying to k ... More >>
The Savoy (1616 Main St.), one of the half dozen or so derelict high- and midrises in southwestern downtown, is to be imploded tomorrow next Friday in an emergency demolition, according to HPD public affairs officer Victor Senties. The building was found to be structurally unsound and must come d ... More >>
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Hey, it's Spec's! And it's not on fire!Driving into work this morning, Hair Balls was passed by at least a dozen fire trucks and Houston Fire Department SUVs as they sped through Midtown. Naturally interested in rubbernecking if at all possible, we checked Twi ... More >>
After a summer of what seemed like a million racist and sexist offerings from the Houston Fire Department, it started to feel like our city had to have the worst department around. But that changed earlier this month when Channel 13 reported some "explosive new allegations" about racism and sexis ... More >>
Laura Palacios of Houston died with her son at her side. Though it was hardly a comfort to the 51-year-old woman: It was her son who allegedly killed her. That's the story told by Harris County Sheriff's homicide detectives who have charged Jose Palacios, 24, with murder. But he is not behind ba ... More >>
The beleaguered Houston Fire Department got some support today from a vice-president of the local chapter of the NAACP, who said in a press conference that he accepted that a noose-like rope found in a station locker was not intended to be a racial symbol.Reverend D.Z. Cofield said he had conduct ... More >>
Texas Republicans are buzzing over the latest issue of The Economist, the conservative British magazine that tends to get a lot of respect.It contains a special report that can be summed up in four words: "Texas good, California bad."Among the findings you might be surprised to learn, especially if ... More >>
Photo by Paul KnightIt's been a rough two weeks for the Houston Fire Department.Two firefighters died Easter morning inside a burning house, trying to rescue a married couple that wasn't there, and on March 30, two fire trucks collided in Montrose while responding to fire that didn't exist, injuring ... More >>
Fair warning: If you're planning on using the Gulf Freeway tomorrow morning, be prepared to wait.Houston Transtar has sent out an alert noting that the funeral services for the two fallen firemen will tie up traffic from 6 am until 1 pm.The details: A combined Memorial Service for fallen Houston Fir ... More >>
The latest "news" on the smoldered Thelma's Bar-B-Que on 1020 Live Oak is... nothing all that new.Alicia White, with the Houston Fire Department, told Hair Balls that since the cause of the fire is still under investigation, information beyond the basics isn't going to be released any time soon (th ... More >>
The Houston Fire Department was putting out a small electrical blaze last night at what looked to be an abandoned mechanic's shop.They couldn't be sure the fire hadn't spread inside, so they asked the guy who was on the property if he could open the place up.He didn't really want to."They told him ' ... More >>
Critics of GoldStar ambulance service say it's late to emergencies, cares for profits over patients, and doctors its books. But without it, there's nothing.
Sheila Jackson Lee's verbosity leads to a jackpot
Jim Pirtle's slipshod nicotine habit spells the end of an era for No tsu oH, but he hopes to rise from the ashes
Sour grapes, golden gloves and acidic comebacks on the campaign trail.
The mayor's new HFD staffing plan postpones the dreams of dead firefighter's kin.
Arson at the Goat's Head? The latest hippest club, and more.