|Southwest Inn burns in Houston, TX Image: KPRC-Local2. REUTERS|
"Today will go down as the worst day in history of the Houston fire department," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said. "The most loss of life ever." The five-alarm fire started in a restaurant this afternoon along U.S. 59 in southwest Houston, according to the mayor's office.
"Witnesses tell Eyewitness News [ABC13 Houston] the fire began in a restaurant, although that has not been confirmed with officials. All patrons and employees of the restaurant reportedly got out safely. The roof of the building has collapsed in areas. The structure houses a sports bar as well."
The following statement was released by Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association:
"Houston firefighters mourn the loss of our three brothers and our sister and will forever honor their sacrifices. Our association and the International Association of Fire Fighters are monitoring the conditions of the six injured firefighters and will be assisting them and their families in every way possible. This tragedy underscores the inherent dangers of our profession. Please keep Houston firefighters in your thoughts and prayers." (Source: United Firefighters Facebook page)