Fires on 6th Street, May Affect Some of This Year's SXSW Showcases

According to the Austin American Statesman, early this morning, Austin Firefighters battled two fires across the street from each other on 6th Street.
Crews arrived at the first fire about 5:30 a.m. to find the Blind Pig Pub, Maggie Mae’s and the Black Cat tattoo parlor all engulfed in flames. A second fire started across the street at the Vice Dance Club, 300 E. Sixth St., Battalion Chief Harry Evans said. "That fire started while crews were working the first blaze", Evans said. Both fires have since been extinguished.

The rooftop deck of the Blind Pig Pub had extensive damage, said Palmer Buck, a Fire Department spokesman. The ground floor had water damage, Buck said.  Maggie Mae’s had smoke and water damage, Buck said. The Black Cat, which is below the Blind Pig’s rooftop deck, had water damage, he said.  It is not known whether the fires are connected, Evans said. The cause is still unknown and crews are investigating their causes, Evans said.

Jonas Silverstein, who owns the building that houses the Blind Pig and Maggie Mae’s, said he’s been inside."You can still smell the smoke inside and there’s still a lot of water,” Silverstein said. “It’s messy but it can be cleaned up."

Betts said he also is concerned that some concerts at the upcoming South by Southwest music festival may have to be moved to other locations. During the annual festival, bands play in “every nook and cranny,” he said.

Maggie Mae’s and Vice are among popular venues during the SXSW music festival, which is scheduled for next month. The Blind Pig is not an official SXSW club.

Roland Swenson, SXSW managing director, said he is still hopeful Vice and Maggie Mae’s can still be used, but that if not, festival officials will work with club owners to find alternative sites.

“It’s going to hurt if for some reason we can’t use them,” he said. [Via Statesman]