4 Firefighters dead in Houston
4 Firefighters Dead in Houston
More Critically Injured
B]HOUSTON – Four Houston firefighters died Friday while battling a 5-alarm blaze in a motel near the Southwest Freeway at Hillcroft. The bodies of three were found in the rubble of the Southwest Inn motel. One apparently died at the hospital.[/B]
Firefighters gathered around one flag-draped casket at the scene.
Six firefighters were rushed by ambulances to area hospitals. Medics were performing CPR on one of them as he was put into an ambulance.
At least one of the injured firefighters is in very critical condition, according to an HFD captain at the scene. He is at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Two others were taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest, just blocks from the fire. Two more went to Memorial Hermann Northwest. They are reportedly in good condition.
HFD Asst. Captain Rick Flanagan said this was the worst day of his life.
There's no word on whether motel guests and employees have been accounted for.
The flames spread quickly through the Southwest Inn motel in the 6800 block of the Southwest Freeway. Strong winds challenged the dozens of Houston firefighters who battled the blaze. Many appeared to be struggling as temperatures crept toward 90 degrees with high humidity. They were given wet towels and water as they took breaks.
It took more than three hours to bring the flames under control.
The front sections of the large motel were gutted.
The fire broke out shortly after noon Friday, blowing thick, black smoke across the Southwest Freeway and slowing traffic in both directions.
Traffic was backed up for miles in the inbound lanes. The feeder road was closed near Bellaire and three mainlanes were shut down to make room for emergency vehicles. Rubberneckers also slowed traffic in the outbound lanes. Drivers should avoid the Southwest Freeway, if possible.
Bad Day. Sounds like it could get worst.
Rest in Peace.