Moment group of masked men pour flammable liquid all over Houston bar before it exploded, causing $750,000 in damage to the business
- Bar 5015 in Houston was partially destroyed in arson fire caused by explosion early June 12
- Houston Fire Department on Thursday released CCTV video showing four masked men pouring what is believed to be gasoline inside the empty bar
- Blast caused by flammable liquid that was set alight sent debris flying in all directions and damaged other businesses in the area
- FBI and ATF are assisting with arson investigation into explosion
The Houston Fire Department this morning released surveillance video capturing the moment a group of masked men entered a popular local bar and doused everything inside with flammable liquid, causing a massive explosion that partially destroyed the business and damaged other buildings in the vicinity.
According to the department, the arson took place at around 5am on June 12 at Bar 5015 located at 5015 Almeda Road.
Surveillance footage from the morning of the explosion shows four men with their faces partially concealed entering the establishment carrying five-gallon canisters.
The Houston Fire Department on Thursday released video showing a group of four men pouring what looks to be gasoline inside Bar 5015 before it blew up on June 12
Surveillance video captures the intruders pouring flammable liquid from five-gallon canisters around the deck area of the bar on Almeda Road
The bar closed at 11pm the night before and there were no customers or staff there at the time of the arson
The intruders then proceed pouring the contents of the containers, described as a flammable liquid, onto a wooden deck.
After soaking the deck, tables and chairs, one of the men ignited the liquid, causing the blast, which sent debris flying hundreds of feet in every direction.
The force of the explosion was such that it blew out windows in nearby homes and was felt as far away as the Texas Southern University campus located more than a mile away, as KHOU11 reported.
Chief investigator George Smith said during a press conference on Thursday that the arson suspects may have suffered burns as a result of the powerful explosion.
The bar was closed at the time of the incident and no injuries were reported.
The masked men poured the liquid all over the wooden deck, tables and chairs
One of the man ignited the liquid, which caused a massive explosion at 5am
The arsonists were last seen fleeing north. As of Thursday, no one has been arrested or identified.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, specially trained accelerant-sniffing dogs alerted to several spots at the business, leading to the conclusion that gasoline may have been involved, Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said last week, according to ABC13.
According to the chief, the intentional act of arson caused more than $750,000 in property damage.
This screenshot from chopper video shows the devastation at the site where Bar 5015 had one stood in the wake of the blast
The bar had been in operation for a decade and it had just reopened after a year-long renovation under new ownership
The bar, which has been in operation for a decade, had just reopened under new ownership after undergoing a year-long renovation.
Its new owner, businessman Steve Rogers who owns several establishments, is now raising money with the help of a loved one to try and rebuild Bar 5015.
‘Steven put his heart and soul into the renovations of 5015 as he has with all of his ventures,’ Lisa Rogers wrote in the description of a GoFundMe campaign. ‘Although it was a thriving black business, it has never been solely about profit for Steven. Let’s do what we can to rebuild 5015 and rebuild Steve’s spirit, faith, and peace of mind in our community.’
The Houston Police Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the arson investigation.
Anyone who recognizes any of the men seen in the surveillance video is being asked call the Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.