Passerby alerts customers, employees when House of Pies goes up in flames

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by Larry Seward & Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 6:53 PM

HOUSTON – Workers and patrons evacuated as flames shot from the roof of the House of Pies on Kirby Drive late Wednesday night.

The restaurant, a popular late-night eatery for decades, caught fire shortly before 11 p.m. The Houston Fire Department said it took about 30 minutes to put out the one-alarm blaze.

Customers in the restaurant told KHOU 11 News they were eating when someone outside started banging on the windows.

"I was eating my cheesecake and all of a sudden the roof was on fire! I was like, ‘What?" said Jose Joa.

"A guy banged on the windows, saying ‘the building is on fire,’ and we thought he was joking," said one customer. "Then we saw people running."

"Somebody was knocking on the window," said Oscar Bardales. "We came out and were like ‘oh no it’s on fire’ and everybody evacuated."

No injuries were reported.

"Thank God everybody’s okay, everybody’s fine," said customer Jonathan Polanco. "Nobody was hurt, but it’s just sad to see it go down."

House of Pies owner Khaled Khalaf said he wants the eatery repaired as soon as possible, but it’s not clear if it can open in time for the Thanksgiving pie rush.

"We are working 24/7. Just like we are a 24/7 restaurant, we are working. We have our employees and the restoration company," Khalaf said. "Early next week, we get up and running we are not going to miss a beat."

If not, expect longer lines at the second location on Westheimer Road, west of the Galleria.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

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