Houston entertainment complex sued over alleged safety hazards

County attorney files suit over alleged fire code violations at Funplex
February 14, 2014 9:27:19 AM PST
Rides, games, bowling and a huge fire risk! That's what county officials say families will find at the Houston Funplex.

The Harris County attorney says the five-acre indoor entertainment center has repeatedly been fined for safety hazards and has yet to correct any of them. So now he is taking action.

According to the county attorney's office, the business has failed dozens of safety inspections by the fire marshal's office. The hope is that this lawsuit finally brings some much-needed changes.

That lawsuit features pages of photos detailing the fire code violations, including blocked emergency exits, non-functioning fire alarms and electrical hazards.

Funplex is a huge indoor entertainment and family center on Beechnut, which features go-karts, bowling, movie theaters and even a Ferris wheel. The place can hold more than 1,000 people, and according to the lawsuit, could be an extremely dangerous place to be in the event of a fire.

"It is a disaster waiting to happen," said Assistant County Attorney Melissa Spinks. "People would not get out, and the fear is that people would die, and we can't let that happen. And sometimes, it's a lawsuit that gets their attention and say, 'You're going to fix these violations.'"

Because of the danger, the fire marshal has reduced Funplex's maximum occupancy to 299 people, but the county attorney says the business regularly exceeds that limit. In addition, there are apartments on the second floor, also with no working fire alarms or fire suppression systems.

We contacted the company listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, West Ten Development, but were told no one was available to speak with us.

The lawsuit doesn't ask a judge to close the business, just to order the needed repairs.

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