Gallery Furniture Arson Fire
On Friday evening May 22, 2009, a massive four-alarm fire erupted and decimated a Houston landmark, Gallery Furniture. Houston business icon, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, is the owner of Gallery Furniture a longtime friend and client of Begala-McGrath.
Mattress Mack turned to Begala-McGarth that dreadful evening and they responded immediately. Working with Mack, his wife Linda and Love Advertising, Begala-McGrath helped to manage an incredibly complicated issue involving Mack and family, Gallery Furniture, media, Federal Agency's like Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), Houston Fire Department (HFD), Houston Police Department (HPD) and many more.
The media coverage was relentless as one of the most successful furniture stores in the United States was decimated as a warehouse of over 100,000 sq. ft. was reduced to dust. Lives were placed at risk. The giant furniture store endured massive smoke and water damage as well.
The Federal investigation immediately centered on an arson suspect but that information was confidential for weeks and months. Mack remained incredibly upbeat and focused his energy on selling furniture out of his newly opened 2nd Gallery store on Post Oak in the Galleria area and getting Gallery rebuilt.
Eventually, overwhelming evidence produced an arrest and indictment for arson on a former Gallery employee.
Remarkably, Gallery Furniture reopened a month-and-a-half later on July 4, 2009 and on September 4, 2009, a little over 3-months after the fire, Gallery opened up a newly constructed and state-of-the-art warehouse.
As difficult as this was, it was a true testimony to the human spirit and a positive mental approach in the face of dire circumstances. Begala - McGarth was honored to be a part of such a remarkable personal and public issue event.