Explosion, fire at Houston teacher’s union building results in partial collapse

HOUSTON – An explosion and fire Monday at the Houston Federation of Teachers’ building near the Gulfgate neighborhood resulted in a partial collapse of the building.

The fire was reported about 3 p.m. at 2704 Sutherland Drive, near Old Spanish Trail.

According to firefighters, people living in the area reported hearing a boom before seeing the fire.

Firefighters said most of the fire was in the back of the building.

“It’s pretty much a wreck inside,” said Andy Dewey, executive vice president, Houston Federation of Teachers.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Dewey said it appears to have been a gas explosion. Dewey said a technician was called to the building Monday morning to turn on the gas in order to heat the building.

Technicians from CenterPoint remained on scene through the night Monday, monitoring the gas line and checking nearby lines at surrounding houses.

While one was inside the teacher’s union at the time of the fire, Dewey told KPRC 2 he had left for the day roughly 30 to 45 minutes before the explosion.

He said he’s thankful.

“It hasn’t hit me yet but I’m sure when I go to bed tonight I’m gonna get the shakes at some point,” Dewey said.

No injuries have been reported.