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 conditions inside adding to the non-allure.
Few adult bookstores look inviting, but this looked like a place where you'd go in to get your head chopped off by some crazed ax murderer. Adding a colorful "Interstate 420" mural only made it seem like it was trying to attract innocent weed-experimenting teens to what must have been the store cellar in Pulp Fiction.
The place burned down in a fire this morning, and a man inside was killed.
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We've asked the Houston Fire Department for more info, but the Houston Chronicle reports that the fire started at about 10 a.m. this morning, and the roof fell in on a person's head.
It says there are signs of forced entry into the building, so the fire is considered suspicious.
Update: HPD's statement:
Houston Fire Department Arson Investigators and HPD homicide are currently investigating a suspicious fire with one confirmed adult male civilian fatality at 1201 Richmond. HFD was dispatched to the fire just before 10 a.m. this morning, July 1, 2011. Firefighters arrived within two minutes and found heavy smoke coming from the one-story business. There was evidence of forcible entry. An offensive attack was made on the fire which was tapped out within 15 minutes. The victim was found on secondary search beneath debris. No firefighter injuries were reported. About 50 firefighters responded to the fire which caused about $20,000 in damage.