'Intentionally set': AFD investigating multiple overnight fires in South Congress area

The Austin Fire Department says several fires were intentionally set overnight.

They say fires were set at the Crow Bar on South Congress and a vacant auto repair shop on South First. There were also about 15 grass, dumpster, and trash fires in the area.

Lisa Watts and Brad Lewallen say they've been going to the Crow Bar every week for several years. "I'm very sad. We love this place," Watts said.

"It's kind of our home bar. I like their pizza. It's just a friendly place to come," Lewallen said.

"I've sat right there. I can't believe the phone booth is gone, the stairs, the upstairs, you can smell it. We pulled up on the motorcycle, and we could smell it coming down the street. It's awful," Watts said.

They even went on Saturday night. "We stopped by to get a pizza. They didn't have the ovens working yet so we moved on," Lewallen said.

Cyrus Twaddle, who lives about five buildings down, started to smell signs of fire around 4 a.m.

"We get this really weird smell. We didn't really know what it was. We checked out the oven and stove and stuff. We saw some smoke coming from the Crow Bar," he said.

Those in the area say they hope no more damage is done.

"Obviously, it's a little unsettling, hopefully they don't target any other houses around here. We go to school at St. Edwards so that's pretty freaky especially if they target any of the buildings at our school, that's pretty scary," Twaddle said.

"When we heard the news there was an arsonist going by, there's a lot of stuff going on in the neighborhood these days, so a little worried about that," Lewallen said.

"It's horrible, it's not cool at all, really hope they catch who is responsible for this," Watts said.

The AFD Arson Division is working on the criminal investigation.