Fire at abandoned bar downtown near Sixth Street: AFD

Austin fire crews responded to a fire at an abandoned bar in downtown Austin early Saturday morning.

Fire at abandoned bar in downtown Austin (Austin Fire Department)

Austin fire crews rushed to Seventh and Trinity Streets around 3:37 a.m. Saturday, as heavy flames shot through the roof of this one-time bar. 

The fast-moving fire quickly went to a second alarm. 

The building is formerly known as MugShots, a bar with an outdoor mural of Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin. It's been closed for a few years now and sits abandoned near the heart of one of Austin’s most popular entertainment districts: Sixth Street.

"We started smelling smoke, a lot of smoke," said Mike Allen, who works at a club on Sixth Street. "I opened the back door and to take the trash out that smoke just, I mean, it bellowed in."

Fire crews were able to keep the flames contained in the abandoned building, but the smoke traveled.

"The smoke is awful, so it's going to take a minute to get it back to normal," said Allen.

Fire officials said homeless people were living in the building.

Allen said he thinks about 5 to 7 people were inside.

No injuries were reported.

"When they did get out, the place just went up like so quick," said Allen.

Streets around the fire were closed as crews battled the flames. The fire broke through the roof of the bar.

The fire was put out by 5:17 a.m.


AFD says the cause of the fire is undetermined, saying that investigators cannot safely access the area of origin due to structural instability.