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Faulty Air Conditioner, Heater Sparked Hotel Fire

2 Firefighters Receive Injuries While Trying To Put Out Inferno

December 28, 2004

HOUSTON -- Firefighters said a faulty air conditioner and heating unit is to blame for a three-alarm north Houston hotel inferno, Local 2 reported Tuesday.


The fire broke out Monday at about 3 p.m. at the Ramada Limited Hotel on John F. Kennedy Boulevard and the North Sam Houston Parkway.

Firefighters said the blaze was difficult to extinguish because it started on the third floor of the hotel and spread to lower floors through a plumbing hole.


"There's oxygen trapped up in there, so as the fire burns it consumes that oxygen and then it spreads throughout the floor," Houston Fire Department Capt. Gilbert Bennett told Local 2.

Two firefighters were injured in the fire. One was hit on the head by falling debris; the other suffered smoked inhalation. Both were treated at Hermann Hospital and are expected to recover.

The fire damaged at least 24 rooms.

Shirley Allbritton, who was staying at the hotel with her two sons, said they weren't inside when the fire broke out about 3 p.m. but lost their belongings, including some Christmas presents. The boys, who live in San Diego, were visiting their father for the holidays.

Allbritton said hardly anyone was staying at the hotel.

"It was like a ghost town in there," she said.

A spokesperson for Bush Intercontinental Airport told Local 2 that the fire had not affected air traffic or airport operations.

 
 
 
   
 
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