Call us ambulance chasers, if you must. But with most of River Oaks standing on its ear with the roar of sirens and a blast of flashing red lights Wednesday morning, inquiring minds want to know what's up. What's up was a burning pile of trash at The River Oaks condo renovation project on Westheimer.
While that is small potatoes in the world of "breaking news," the hullabaloo and traffic snarl caused by the fire trucks speeding down Westheimer was no minor commotion. Nearby resident, accomplished photographer and CultureMap friend Kathryn Rabinow, snapped the smoky images from her 12th floor apartment at Inwood Manor.
She emailed CultureMap, "I heard many fire engines around 8 this morning so I went out on my balcony and took these two photos of what I assume to be a fire at the old River Oaks building that is on Westheimer near Claremont that is being turned into condos."
The Houston Fire Department reports that there was fire and water damage on the third floor of the $100 million project. The first alarm was called in at 7:54 a.m. and a second at 8:04.
According to the report, "Traffic will be congested in the area of Westheimer and Buffalo Speedway for several hours . . . This fire was declared under control at 8:40 a.m."
A spokeswoman for the property confirmed, "There were workers on site who noticed smoke and immediately contacted the fire department. It was a small trash fire and was taken care of in a matter of minutes."