Fire Engulfs Landmark
Montrose landmark Vintage Oasis went up in flames early Friday morning, badly damaging the record store, costume rental and resale shop at 1512 Westheimer owned for 18 years by Cher Castro.
Houston firefighters were dispatched to the fire at approximately 12:45 a.m., arriving to find "heavy smoke and fire" coming from the structure. They had the fire under control by 2:30 a.m., but the building's structure and much of the store's inventory — imagine all of the polyester! — sustained major damage.
At least two tenants lived in an upstairs apartment, but no injuries were reported. However, two store cats, Puddin and Wolfie, and three cats belonging to the upstairs tenant reportedly perished in the fire.
Neighborhood residents interviewed by KHOU Ch. 11 News were unsurprised by the incident. As one told the camera crew, "That place is basically a bunch of old clothing in there, and the lady is basically like a hoarder, and she kept all of that stuff in there for so many years and this is what happened."
The Houston Fire Department also pointed to the store's clutter — as evident in this Google Maps preview — as a hindrance to recovery efforts.
Arson investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze. Watch KHOU's full report below: