05/22/2009 12:00AM

Fire at McIngvale's Gallery Furniture


Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, which in the past has sponsored major stakes races at Turfway Park and Sam Houston Race Park, lost a 100,000 square-foot storage area in a four-alarm fire Thursday night, according to Tommy Dowdy, district chief for the Houston Fire Department. There were no injuries, and only smoke and water damage to the showroom portion of the furniture store, which is one of two Thoroughbred owner and breeder Jim McIngvale owns in Houston.

Dowdy said the fire department received a call at about 8:30 p.m., and some 150 firefighters fought the blaze to 11 p.m. The cause of the fire is not yet known. It is under arson investigation, as is protocol, but Dowdy said there is no suspicion of arson. Some news reports have indicated a generator in the store might have been to blame.

McIngvale posted a letter on the store s website thanking customers for their support during this trying time. Gallery Furniture has been damaged, but not defeated, he wrote. McIngvale said he intended to rebuild the store, which is his main one located on North Freeway in Houston. Gallery Furniture is continuing to operate at its other location on Post Oak Blvd.