Authorities say four firefighters are dead after trying to battle a fire that engulfed a Houston motel along a busy expressway. The Houston mayor’s office released a statement saying the four firefighters were killed Friday after a blaze broke out at the Southwest Inn. The local medical examiner’s office says three victims died at the scene, while the fourth died at a hospital.
Five others were injured and are hospitalized for chest pains or leg injuries. Houston Fire Department Asst. Chief Rick Flanagan called it the worst day of his life, KHOU reported.
The blaze broke out just after noon Friday at a restaurant and club at the Southwest Inn on U.S. 59, one of Houston’s most heavily traveled expressways. Flames spread to the motel and were shooting from the roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze about two hours later.
The fire’s cause hasn’t been released.
Temperatures in the low 90s and high humidity hampered firefighting efforts. Smoke from the fire snarled traffic.