NEW ORLEANS — "We are ready for Ash Wednesday,"

That is what a sign posted outside "The Rex House" on Mardi Gras said as crowds gathered outside for Zulu and Rex. It is also the site where firefighters battled a massive 7-alarm fire that heavily damaged the historic mansion just weeks before.

The fire on Feb. 20 caused massive damage to the three-story, 154-year-old mansion whose occupants over the years include four kings and a queen of Rex. The building, which was built in 1865 is steeped in Carnival tradition and is also one of the toasting spots on the parade route for Rex, King of Carnival.

Christopher Montgomery and most of his family dressed as New Orleans firefighters to honor the men who battled the blaze.

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After the fire, the krewe announced that Rex would continue the tradition at the site.

"While this fabled home at 2525 St. Charles Avenue is no longer standing, the Rex Organization holds steadfast to the lore and legacy of its many Carnival traditions," read a statement from the organization. "Therefore, despite yesterday's misfortune, Rex's ceremony of stopping to toast his loyal subjects at 2525 St. Charles Avenue will continue as always this Mardi Gras 2019.

Rex will maintain tradition, do toast at 2525 St. Charles location


The Associated Press contributed to this report.