Houston, Texas Firefighters Battle Dance Hall Landmark Fire

At approximately 7:30 am on Sunday morning, October 24, 2004, Houstonians lost a 56 year old tradition when fire ripped through the Bill Mraz Dance Hall in north central Houston. As dawn broke into a cloudy morning, a heavy box alarm assignment was dispatched sending Engines 31, 13, 15 and 62, Ladders 31 and 67, Distinct Chief 31 and 4 and a Squad 31 to the all wooden one-story structure located on W.34th Street near Brinkman,

First in units reported a working fire and initiated an interior fast attack and primary search while next in crews worked to cut a hole in the roof. Within minutes, the fire, which was fueled by seasoned wood a half century old and the rush of fresh air from firefighters opening up the building, took hold of the 11,000 square foot structure and forced interior crews out of the dance hall. As firefighters retreated, District Chief 31 declared the operation a defensive affair and simultaneously requested three taps (three extra engines). Now in defensive operations, firefighters repositioned rigs and stretched four-inch supply lines to feed the ladder-pipe and deck gun operations.

As master stream operations went underway and fire broke through the roof, crews pulled 1