Popular Phantom Room bar destroyed by fire, cause under investigation

Fire sends smoke throughout downtown area

SAN ANTONIO – Arson investigators are looking into the cause of a fire that destroyed The Phantom Room, a popular bar located just north of downtown San Antonio.

Firefighters answered a call about the blaze shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday. Chief Charles Hood said the first companies to arrive found heavy flames coming from the roof of the building, located in the 2100 block of N. St. Mary’s Street. Soon, fire also was shooting from the walls, dangerously close to some power poles.

Hood said firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire, while also being extra cautious.

“There was some fire up underneath the deck,” he said. “Didn't want any firefighters walking out there, potentially falling in."

Smoke fanned out for miles, spreading to the downtown area and beyond.

Many people, however, heard about the fire the old fashioned way—through word of mouth. For Chris Carr, word about his former workplace and favorite weekend hangout, came electronically.

"We found this out through text message, you know? We didn't believe it was happening right now,”Carr said. "It's a big loss for us. But what's going to happen next, we don't know."

Carr said he has been visiting the business for years and has many friends who work there.

“I feel like it's like a second home to me,” he said. “So, it's pretty sad."

No one was injured in the fire.   

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 11 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.