Short in Neon Sign Blamed for Fire at Luna's Tortilla Factory

Family vows to rebuild nearly 90-year-old business

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Luna's Tortilla Factory, famous for 90 years of food and tortillas in Dallas, was destroyed by fire Monday morning. (Published Monday, Jun 17, 2013)

    A neon sign and bird nests are to blame for the fire that destroyed Luna's Tortilla Factory in Dallas on Monday morning.

    Dallas Fire-Rescue investigators determined an electrical short in or near the neon Luna's sign on the south side of the building started the blaze in the 8500 block of Harry Hines Boulevard.

    Luna's Tortilla Factory Destroyed by Fire

    [DFW] Luna's Tortilla Factory Destroyed by Fire
    Luna's Tortilla Factory, famous for 90 years of food and tortillas in Dallas, was destroyed by fire Monday morning (Published Monday, Jun 17, 2013)

    The owner told fire investigators that after he smelled smoke inside the building he went outside to see a small fire near the sign.

    Fire investigators say the several birds' nests had been built in the hollow lettering of the sign, near electrical connections. Investigators say the nests were heavily burned and may have fueled the fire after the electrical short.

    The seven employees inside Luna's Tortilla Factory all safely escaped.

    "It happened so quick, there wasn't any time to get scared," Fernando Luna Sr. said.

    Luna's is one of the oldest and most successful Latino-owned family businesses in Dallas.The Luna family has been making tortillas in Greater Dallas for nearly a century.

    The business, which started in 1924 with Maria Luna making about 500 pieces of the flatbread every day, has a factory that makes 800 dozen tortillas per hour and distributes them to more than 250 local and national restaurants and cafes.

    The Harry Hines location is Luna's second home. Its original building was located on McKinney Avenue in the area once known at Little Mexico, which is now called Uptown,

    Luna's is nearing its 90th anniversary, and the Luna family vows to rebuild and continue a legacy built on love.

    "There's no doubt that we'll rebuild," Fernando Luna Sr. said. "There's no doubt about it."

    NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.