‘It is a total loss’: Bulverde art studio owner heartbroken after fire destroys business

The fire also impacted a nearby restaurant, prompting it to close until further notice

BULVERDE, Texas – Francesca Watson has invested her life savings into her beloved art studio, The Makery, in Bulverde.

However, early Saturday morning, her alarm alerted her to an unexpected nightmare.

“I pulled up our security camera and I could see the flames and the smoke. So I called 911,” Watson said.

By the time she arrived, the building was covered in smoke. The aftermath of the fire shows little hope for her art studio.

In a Facebook video, Watson said the fire started in her studio and “appears to be electrical in nature” before it spread to the restaurant next door, the Verde Bistro.

“This has got nothing to do with the restaurant next door. The fire started in our studio,” she said. “It is a total loss.”

The restaurant next door also sustained significant damage.

According to a Facebook post from the Verde Bistro, it will be closed until further notice.

“This business represents our entire life savings. We put all of it here so we have no savings, but we’re going to have a roof over our head and food on our table,” Watson said. “These young families working in the buildings, my two assistants, you know, these are people on fixed incomes or, you know, raising small families. And I just I’m worried for them.”

Rhonda Zunker with the Bulverde Spring Branch Chamber of Commerce is coordinating assistance for the more than a dozen people that work at the art studio and restaurant.

“If we can help them with immediate needs and, you know, give them a little bit of money until they can get reemployed,” Zunker said.

Some restaurants have offered to give the staff a temporary job until the business can reopen.

Watson said their pet shop cat died in the fire.

KSAT reached out to Bulverde Spring Branch Fire Department for information on the fire and we haven’t heard back.

About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.