This video showing the aftermath of the Rainbow Lounge fire, 651 S. Jennings Ave., in Fort Worth, was shot shortly before 8:30 a.m. today (Thursday, June 1).
Police tape cordoned off the front and south sides of the building. On the north side the police tape blocked off that section of West Hattie Street, also, allowing onlookers no closer than the parking lot outside The Last Word bookstore on the other side of West Hattie. Fort Worth police officers sat in vehicles on Jennings and May Street, which runs parallel to Jennings on the east side.
As the video shows, the roof of the building is completely gone. The brick wall on the south side had already begun to collapse in some places, damaging a car that was left parked next to the building there. Amazingly, the car showed no obvious signs of fire damage. And from what was visible of the side and back patio areas through cracks in the fences and a hole broken in the back fence, those areas also showed little fire damage.
The brick wall on the north side appeared on the verge of collapse; huge cracks criss-crossed the wall, which had bowed outward significantly. Water streamed heavily from between the base of the brick walls and the concrete foundation in several places, and the smell of smoke permeated the air, as people drove by slowly, shooting photos and videos with their phones. Others parked to walk around what remained of the building, with a couple even picking up bricks that had fallen outside the confines of the police tape, souvenirs of what had become an iconic landmark in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement in Texas and the country.