Four firefighters die in US hotel blaze

Washington, June 1 (IANS) At least four firefighters died while battling a hotel fire in Houston, the fourth largest US city, Friday, officials said.

Over 100 firefighters were reportedly on the scene, and the Red Cross was also there providing assistance. But it could not be immediated ascertained what sparked the fire, Xinhua reported.

The fire broke out at the Bhojan Restaurant about 12.09 p.m. local time (Houston) and engulfed the neighbouring Southwest Inn in Houston, a US daily said.

A spokesperson for Houston mayor Annise Parker said at least four firefighters have died, and five others were injured, making this one of the deadliest days in history for the Houston Fire Department.

There was no immediate word on whether all 45 hotel guests, employees and others had been accounted for, the report said. However, earlier media reports said all patrons and employees of the restaurant got out safely.

Video footage showed thick black smoke coming out of the building.

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