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Man charged with arson in fire that destroyed Wilde Collection oddities shop and museum in the Heights

A man dumped gasoline inside the Oddities and Curiosities store in the Heights and set it on fire on Friday afternoon.

HOUSTON — A man is now charged with arson in the fire that destroyed the Wilde Collection Oddities and Curiosities store in the Heights on Friday afternoon.

Jonathan Jindra was charged with arson in the case, court documents show. Jindra was charged Saturday. The Harris County District Attorney's Office is asking for a $35,000 bond.

Court documents also indicated that Jindra may have a mental health issue.

A Twitter account with Jindra's first and last name posted Friday, writing, “The Wilde Collection is dead. By my own hand and wrath I say this.”

That account has since been suspended.

Loyal customers and fans of the Wilde Collection Oddities and Curiosities store in the Heights gathered at the store Saturday to see the damage and offer support to the owners who lost a valuable collection. 

The Wilde Collection includes a variety of occult items, some for sale, and others simply for viewing, like artifacts in a museum. The owners, Lawyer Douglas and Tyler Zottarelle have traveled the world to collect and curate these rare items.

RELATED: Fire Dept.: Man pours gasoline inside Heights store, then lights it on fire

“I am so filled with emotions that I don’t know what will happen," Douglas said in a series of videos posted to the store's Facebook page. "I have to say, thank you all so very, very much for supporting our dream and supporting the Wilde Collection, for loving what we tried to do and what we tried to give Houston and our community.”

People dropped off gifts at the store Saturday, including flowers, cards and even donuts.

"They had no desire to make people buy anything. It was more of a museum," said Nicholas Osborn, a frequent visitor to the shop who waited outside Saturday morning, surveying the damage. ”They had beautiful, rare and exotic pieces that are incredibly hard to come across.“

The co-owners said they reluctantly began a GoFundMe page in order to help them reopen the store as soon as possible. The co-owners hope to give those who donate a small bottle with some of the ashes as a way of expressing their gratitude.


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