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Longtime Austin bakery Texas French Bread suffers major damage in overnight fire

The Austin Fire Department says Texas French Bread has a total of $1.6 million in damage after an overnight fire.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
The Austin Fire Department said an overnight fire at Texas French Bread caused $1.6 million in damage.

Texas French Bread, a popular Central Austin bakery operating for more than 40 years, was badly damaged in an overnight fire.

When the Austin Fire Department arrived to the bakery at 2900 Rio Grande St. around midnight, crews found fire shooting out of the roof. The fire department said Tuesday it determined the cause of the fire was accidental — a result of mechanical failure.

A woman walking her dog looks over a pile of bricks from the collapsed façade of Texas French Bread.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
A woman walking her dog looks over a pile of bricks from the collapsed façade of Texas French Bread.

Photos show significant parts of the roof collapsed, along with parts of the building's façade. AFD said there was $1.1 million in damage to the structure and $500,000 in damage to the contents of the building.

A GoFundMe fundraising page has been started to help support the business' staff. "Their beloved staff got out safely, but the building that has been home to the family-owned bakery for decades is destroyed, along with everything inside," a description on the page reads. The fundraiser had hit $100,000 by Wednesday morning.

The bakery began operating in 1981. Before that, the building was home to the Rome Inn, an Italian restaurant and then a live music venue that played host to Austin icons like Stevie Ray Vaughan, as reported by the Austin Chronicle in this 2014 story.

The awning and significant parts of Texas French Bread's brick façade collapsed from the fire.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
The awning and significant parts of Texas French Bread's brick façade collapsed from the fire.
Texas French Bread's brick façade facing 29th Street is still standing.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
The façade facing 29th Street is still standing.