A fire broke out at the popular and beloved House of Pies on Kirby last night around 10:45 as the result of an electrical fire that started in the ceiling.
According to Khaled Khalaf, whose family has owned the eatery since 1992, there were about 70 or 80 customers in the building when the fire started. The cooks and diners smelled smoke, and shortly thereafter someone came in and notified management that smoke was coming out of the roof.
The fire department was able to contain the blaze by 11 p.m. and has tentatively called it an accidental electrical fire, though they're still investigating the exact cause.
As we were there reporting, patrons were showing up to see the damage for themselves and lamenting that the 24-hour neighborhood restaurant, which has been open since 1967, was temporarily shuttered. Many said they've been coming to House of Pies for years, and it's one of their favorite places for breakfast, late-night eats and any meal in between.
"We'll reopen as soon as possible," Khalaf said. "Most of the damage is on the outside. it's an easy fix. It's just the roof."
Manager Greg Smith added that House of Pies will definitely be open by Thanksgiving, so people need not worry about getting their holiday pies.
They're going to have to start from scratch, though, as I witnessed them discarding all the pies that were in the case at the time of the fire.
"There was too much smoke in here," Khalaf said. "We have to throw them out."
Khalaf also noted that while the damage looks bad on the inside, the debris on the floor is mainly from the fire department trying to get to the source of the fire. He expects to have it cleaned up soon and will then move on to the roof repairs.
I'm personally saddened by this news because, as you may have read, House of Pies is my go-to late-night spot, and I've made friends with some of the employees and regulars. Khalaf has said he'll let me know as soon as they reopen, and we'll pass the info along to you. On that glorious day, we shall all meet at House of Pies and celebrate with a slice of Bayou Goo.