Faulty Air Conditioner,
Heater Sparked Hotel Fire
2 Firefighters Receive Injuries While Trying To Put Out
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