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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Late Friday afternoon, officials with Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s office confirmed that four firefighters lost their lives battling a five-alarm blaze.
The Houston Fire Department was dispatched to a building fire during the noon hour on Friday. With billowing smoke blowing smoke across the Southwest Freeway near Hillcroft and slowing traffic in both directions, HFD stated that four firefighters were transported to various hospitals and one firefighter was unaccounted for, about an hour after the fire broke out.
As the four firefighters were rushed by ambulances to area hospitals, medics performed CPR on one of them as he was put in an ambulance. It’s not clear at the time of his report, if he was the firefighter who was missing.
HFD also stated that the fire was upgraded to a five-alarm fire just after 1 p.m.
The flames, which sprouted from the Southwest Inn motel in the 6800 block of the Southwest Freeway garnered dozens of Houston firefighters who arrived quickly on the scene to extinguish it.
As firefighters worked tirelessly to bring the blaze under control, they also struggled as temperatures rose toward 90-degrees coupled with high humidity.
Because of the thick smoke, the inbound lanes of the feeder road were closed down near Bellaire. The smoke also slowed motorists in the main lanes of the Southwest Freeway Friday afternoon.
CBS Radio Houston will provide additional details/updates as they become available.
***UPDATE*** 4:30, CST
Officials confirmed that four firefighters were killed battling a massive hotel fire in southwest Houston.
Their deaths on Friday marked the deadliest day in history for the Houston Fire Department.
A spokesperson for Houston Mayor Annise Parker, stated late Friday that at least four firefighters have died and five others are injured.
Officials from the Red Cross arrived on the scene to provide assistance.