Investigation underway of major fire at Catholic bookstore in Houston

Damage to the San Jacinto location of the Sacco Company Catholic Store in Houston after a fire on June 25, 2022. Damage to the San Jacinto location of the Sacco Company Catholic Store in Houston after a fire on June 25, 2022. | Brent Haynes

A Saturday evening fire caused major damage to the Sacco Company Catholic Store in downtown Houston. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

A fire started about 8 p.m. June 25 at the store, which is more than 6,000 square feet in area. The building is on San Jacinto Street five blocks south of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. 

The store’s owners say they are still open for business online and at their other Houston location.

“We did suffer a fire on Saturday evening. It did destroy most of our store,” Andrew Sacco, the store’s owner, told CNA June 27. “It’s a pretty big blow. It’s a family-owned business. We’ve been in that location for over 30 years. It’s a significant blow to us.”

Sacco said he did not know of any signs of vandalism, arson, or threats

“We don’t have any information on that at this time. The fire is still being investigated,” he told CNA. “We’re waiting on insurance adjustors and inspectors. There’s been no determination on the cause of the fire.”

Arson investigators were on the scene of the fire, KPRC 2 News reports.

A Houston Fire Department spokesperson told CNA on Monday that the incident investigation is still considered open and active. 

The fire comes amid concerns about arson and vandalism at churches, pregnancy centers, and other institutions which oppose abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last week.

The store which suffered the fire was the Sacco Company’s main location and had all of its main inventory.

“We’re going to have to be rebuilding our inventory back up. We are working with our vendors,” Sacco said. “Any necessary orders can be fulfilled.”

The San Jacinto Street location is temporarily closed. The company’s other location, Veritas Catholic Bookstore, is still open on the 2900 block of Chimney Rock Road in west Houston.

“We are working out of our sister store, Veritas Catholic Bookstore,“ Sacco said. “We’re still operational, we’re just working to get things back up and running … We’re still taking church goods orders. We can ship directly from our manufacturers.”

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