A fire broke out in southwest Houston at the Bhojan Restaurant. It quickly spread to the adjacent Southwest Inn, and the motel fire has killed four people.
The five alarm fire broke out about noon in the restaurant. As it spread to the motel, firefighters scrambled to contain the blaze. Tweets reported the four deceased as fire fighters, but was later rescinded. However, firefighters were seen saluting, a respectful signature for a fallen comrade.
Two firefighters were hospitalized in critical condition and four others suffered either chest pains or leg injuries, said Jessica Michan, a mayoral spokeswoman.
A sports bar and disco were also burned.
Some of the serious injuries, and possible fatalities occurred when the roof of the restaurant collapsed. There were 45 guests in the hotel, and they were all told to evacuate as restaurant employees began knocking on doors. There is presently no word if all of the guests are safe.
Sammy Sewell told the Chronicle that he walked out of his room, heard yelling and saw three screaming women running down a hallway as he turned a corner. He then heard three explosions.
“Next thing you know, it was ‘boom!’ It scared the crap out of me. I mean, it sounded like a cannon going off. That’s how loud it was,” said Sewell, 29, who had been living at the motel for six months. “I could have sworn it picked this building up and put it back down.”
There were 100 firefighters on the scene. Many became dehydrated. The temperature at the time of the fire was 91, but with the added Houston humidity, it felt like 95.
There has been no conformation as to the deceased or their occupations at this time.
The Guardian Express