As if flooding from Hurricane Harvey wasn’t bad enough, a local pillar fell prey to what appears to be an intentional destruction of property in its aftermath.
In the early morning hours Thursday (shortly after 6 a.m.), MANNA Executive Director Patricia Dornak said she received a phone call that the beloved community shop was on fire, with several signs manifesting later that the store may have been specifically targeted.
“There were three notes left on the refrigerator in red marker for us. They turned the two crosses on the refrigerator upside down, so we know it was intentional,” Dornak said.
According to Dornak, perpetrators appear to have busted in the back door of MANNA, come in, left the messages and then set the fire.
“We have no idea who would’ve done this,” Dornak said, though noting that on-scene responders believe the culprit could potentially be the same person(s) who broke into the store earlier this week.
At this time, Dornak is unsure how the store will proceed moving forward. The Houston Fire Department was unable to be reached for comment as to whether there have been any similar fires in Houston or the local area.
The beloved thrift shop wasn’t the only partial casualty, however. Next door, Dollar General (just opened barely two weeks prior) also caught some damage, though the extent of the damage there is currently unknown.
“We’re excited to bring a new location to Houston, and are working diligently on a new store located at 1804 W. 43rd Street,” spokesperson Laura Somerville had told The Leader last week.
The new store was part of a late April transaction in which Dollar General reached a definitive agreement with Dollar Express LLC to acquire all 323 of Dollar Express’s store locations. Dollar Express was created in November 2015 in conjunction with a divestiture transaction that satisfied a condition of Dollar Tree Inc.’s acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Inc., as required by the FTC. In late April, the FTC approved the company’s asset purchase agreement with Dollar Express LLC to acquire all of Dollar Express’s store locations, including the one at 1804 W. 43rd Street.