San Antonio

Fire destroys Midnight Rodeo dance hall in San Antonio

Midnight Rodeo had been closed since 2019, however inside it was prefer it “had never closed,” metropolis officers say.

SAN ANTONIO — Firefighters labored for a number of hours to place out an enormous fireplace on the former dancehall Midnight Rodeo Wednesday morning, first arriving round 4:30 a.m. as smoke was billowing out of the business. 

The San Antonio Fire Department mentioned it is potential the fireplace began round 11 p.m. Tuesday or 12 a.m. Wednesday. They additionally mentioned there’s proof of homelessness in the constructing, and whereas nobody was injured in the blaze, metropolis officers mentioned it spotlights the significance of housing help applications. 

Because the flames unfold rapidly, fireplace crews spent more often than not battling the fireplace defensively. In an replace at 8 a.m., SAFD Chief Charles Hood mentioned the constructing was secure and there was no harm to neighboring buildings.

“What’s left of [the building] is stable. We were able to protect the exposure, which was a bingo hall. There was no danger to the bingo hall,” Chief Hood mentioned.

A worsening fame

Midnight Rodeo was liked by many San Antonians for many years. It closed its doorways in 2019, however metropolis officers mentioned the constructing was housed the favored nightlife spot had been on their radar as a rising nuisance—to the tune of a whole bunch of complaints from neighbors.

“That’s what sort of triggered the DART workforce to get entangled and begin that technique of working with the proprietor to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do something with this facility,’” mentioned District 10 City Councilman Clayton Perry.

Perry is referring to the town’s Dangerous Assessment Response Team, a gaggle tasked with going after the “worst of the worst” properties throughout the town.

Assistant City Attorney Eric Burns leads the DART workforce, and says they got here out to examine the constructing off the 12300 block of Nacodoches just some weeks in the past.

“We have been involved with the truth that it was unsecured,” Burns said. “There have been plenty of fires that have been occurring inside. We had plenty of oversize automobiles that have been carrying hazardous supplies or unsafe supplies parking right here at lengthy hours and a number of days.”

It’s somewhat ironic that we were going to talk to them about some of the concerns we had, and then this morning this happened,” he added.

‘Like a hurricane went by that place’

Burns mentioned once they went to examine the dancehall a number of weeks in the past, they seen nothing had been eliminated in the years after Midnight Rodeo formally closed its doorways in 2019.

“It was like the business had never closed,” mentioned Burns. “The dance floors were still the same… there were still liquor bottles with liquor in them.”

Burns mentioned the proprietor of Midnight Rodeo informed his workforce the property proprietor wouldn’t enable him to return in and retrieve what was left behind. Among the remnants of the once-bustling dancehall: furnishings, paperwork and valuables, offering visible proof of its reputation over the past 30 years. 

It looked like a hurricane went through that place, and I bet there is 10,000 vinyl records lying around in there,” mentioned Perry, who additionally accompanied the DART workforce on its go to a number of weeks in the past.

Now, that historical past is nothing however a mangled mess of steel and particles after a fast-moving fireplace utterly destroyed the constructing and every part in it.

“I made a few laps around that dance hall in there myself,” mentioned Perry. “To a lot of people, this is an icon here, and it’s sad to see it get closed down and end up like this.

Before the fireplace Wednesday morning, Burns mentioned the DART workforce had scheduled a meeting with the property proprietor and former Midnight Rodeo proprietor in the subsequent week.

He mentioned the meeting will nonetheless be happening, now with a brand new set of points to debate.

“There still needs to be a cleanup. There still needs to be a securing of this structure and the area. The illegal parking also needs to be addressed for this community to feel a little bit safer and have some resolution,” mentioned Burns.

Hood, in the meantime, mentioned he anticipated SAFD crews to stay onsite for a while as demolition and cleanup work continues. A trigger remains to be beneath investigation, which is typical for fires as massive and intense because the one which destroyed Midnight Rodeo. 

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