Thick smoke from restaurant fire briefly halts MLK parade in Midtown

HOUSTON – Thick smoke from a fire at a restaurant Monday brought the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Midtown to a standstill for about an hour.

The fire was reported about 10:45 a.m. at the Weights and Measures restaurant near Carolina and Dennis streets.

As Sky 2 was flying over the MLK Grande Parade, thick smoke began pouring out of a roof-top vent. That was followed by a scurry of people leaving the building. Firefighters arrived and the smoke was quickly tapped down.

The MLK Grande Parade, which was marching down neighboring San Jacinto Street, was stopped by authorities as crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

It appeared that people participating in the parade were making most of the delay, performing for the crowds that had gathered to watch the event.

The parade resumed about an hour later.

Firefighters said the blaze started in a hood vent in the kitchen.

No injuries were reported.

The Grande Parade is one of two MLK Day parades in Houston. The 40th annual Original MLK Birthday Parade began at 10 a.m. near Minute Maid Park, northeast from the Grande Parade route.