Crews douse small kitchen fire at Ruggles Black

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Updated 2:17 pm, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A small kitchen fire at the popular Ruggles Black restaurant drew fire crews Wednesday afternoon to the scene in Upper Kirby.

The flames broke out in a kitchen vent just before 1 p.m., according to Houston Fire Department officials. 

By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze already was mostly extinguished. The fire temporarily shuttered the restaurant, though officials clarified that it’s not being investigated as arson. It’s not clear what sparked the flames. 


The restaurant made headlines in April after state officials cited the restaurant’s chef, Bruce Molzan, for allegedly buying large quantities of protected fish from a network of unlicensed commercial fishermen. 

A two-year investigation focused on Molzan found that the restaurateur funneled 14 tons of illegally caught fin fish through the paleo-focused Kirby hot spot as well as the eco-friendly Ruggles Green, possibly netting more than $400,000 in profits. 

Molzan’s lawyer, Joel Androphy, fired back against the allegations, describing the misdemeanors as “the equivalent of a traffic ticket.”

“The actual charges against Bruce Molzan and Ruggles in this investigation are buying from an unlicensed fisherman,” Androphy said at the time, “not running an organized illegal operation as being falsely reported.”


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