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Fire Burns Through Texas Civil Rights Project Headquarters

Updated: Wednesday, October 30 2013, 07:42 AM CDT
Update: The Austin Fire Department has ruled the fire accidental and say the damages are estimated at $140,000.


Breaking overnight, fire burns through the offices of the Texas Civil Rights Project. It happened just before 1 a.m. Wednesday at their offices on the 1400 block of Montopolis not far from Riverside and U.S. Highway 183.

As of 5 a.m. arson investigators were still digging through rubble in the front office, where the fire damage was contained.  The 911 call came in just before 1 a.m. after someone driving by the Texas Civil Rights Project office saw flames shooting out the front. Firefighters arrived on scene four minutes later and knocked it down just minutes later. A front office, badly burned, the rest of the building scarred by smoke. Fire officials say the front door was locked, and nobody was known to be inside the building or hurt.

A short time later, Jim Harrington, the director of Texas Civil Rights Project came to the scene to see the damage firsthand, along with other staff members.

The office that was burned is our development office, so we've lost a lot of grant applications and things like that, said Harrington. But in terms of client files and all that, we've always kept that stuff on backup, and they were in different rooms. That stuff was okay.

Going forward, Harrington says its gonna be awhile before he and the staff can get back in the building to work. In the meantime hes not sure where they're work but says they'll find a way.
Fire Burns Through Texas Civil Rights Project Headquarters

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