Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is asking a court to force the entertainment complex Funplex to correct fire hazards in its building. “The fire hazards identified at this facility have been pointed out to the owners in multiple citations but no actions have been taken to correct them,” said Ryan. “This blatant disregard for the safety of its customers cannot be tolerated. These problems must be corrected before someone is hurt.”
The County Attorney’s Office is asking the court to grant a temporary injunction to require Funplex’s owners to correct the safety hazards cited by the Fire Marshal and to ensure that it does not continue to violate the law.
Funplex, at 13700 Beechnut in Houston, is a large indoor entertainment and family center that covers more than five acres. Activities include bowling, skating, go-karts, a Ferris Wheel, movie theaters, churches and more. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office has issued 28 citations to the owners of Funplex for numerous fire and life safety hazards. Among the hazards cited are:
A non-functioning fire detection alarm system
Blocked and non-functioning emergency exit doors
Blocked sprinkler heads that cannot function properly
Overloaded circuits and other electrical hazards
Exit passageways blocked by debris and storage
Fire lanes blocked by new construction projects
Non-functioning cooking suppression systems
In addition, the International Office Bar inside Funplex has no Certificate of Occupancy, patrons inside Funplex are allowed to use flares, the second floor is being used for residential purposes without required fire escapes or a fire alarm in place, and construction is taking place without permits. Because these hazards have not been corrected, the Fire Marshal has reduced Funplex’s occupancy to 299.
Funplex exceeded the new limit for a New Year Eve’s Party on December 31, 2013. The County Attorney’s Office says another large party is planned for tonight that is expected to exceed the 299 limit and pose a serious threat to the safety of the public because of these many hazards.
Defendants listed in the County Attorney’s petition are West Ten Development LP as the owner of Funplex and I.W.W. Realty LLC as the general partner of West Ten. “Each day that Funplex refuses to comply with the Fire Marshal’s orders and opens its doors for business, innocent members of the public are placed in harm’s way,” said Ryan.
The County Attorney’s Petition can be viewed at http://www.harriscountytx.gov/cmpdocuments/caoimages/FunplexPetition.pdf