Fort Worth gay bar the Stampede heavily damaged by fire; no foul play suspected

Posted on 10 Sep 2009 at 8:54am

Stampede, an iconic Fort Worth gay bar, was heavily damaged in a fire early Thursday. Q Cinema founder and Fort Worth LGBT leader Todd Camp initially speculated that the blaze may have been arson, given recent events involving the Rainbow Lounge. However, The Dallas Morning News is reporting that authorities believe it was an electrical fire. Senior Editor Tammye Nash, who lives in Fort Worth, is on her way to the scene. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I just spoke with Lt. Kent Worley of the Fort Worth Fire Department, and he confirmed that investigators don’t suspect any foul play in the fire, which caused $60,000 in damage to the building and its contents. Worley said the fire broke out just before 2 a.m., when a manager and some employees noticed smoke coming from a storage area.

“They tried to put it out and it just got away from them,” Worley said. “It was put under control pretty quickly once we got there.”

Worley said the fire is believed to be accidental and electrical in part because it started in an area where there were a lot of electrical plugs.

We’ll have a full story in Friday’s Voice.

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