It broke out around 3am at the complex on FM 1960 at Highway 290. When fire crews arrived, they found the unoccupied structure almost fully engulfed. The building eventually collapsed.
"I got the blaze," said eyewitness Ben Stuckert.
Stuckert, who is visiting from Dallas, grabbed his cellphone and recorded furious flames shooting from the new four-story unoccupied motel under construction.
"I looked out the window and the flames were about 50 feet in the air above the building," Stuckert said.
He, like dozens of others, was staying right next door at the Best Western hotel. Fire crews evacuated everyone at the Best Western for precautionary reasons.
"We heard beating on several doors around us and the fireman were running up and down with an ax hitting the doors real loud," said hotel evacuee Dawn Mulder.
Fire crews did run into some issues while battling the massive flames.
"We had some issues with our supply line. We had some lines that caught fire," said Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain Robert Rasa. "There was so many embers we had secondary fires, several grass fires in a field next to it as well as down the street. The embers carried and were starting grass fires down the road."
"It was like bright orange and fire and ashes were flying on to our cars as we were getting in," said another evacuee.
Firefighters scrambled to get the four-alarm blaze under control as the entire building collapsed. With the building vacant, Harris County arson investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire.
"What we're being told right now by the contractor is that it had water and sewer utilities, but it had no electrical, no gas hook-up yet," said Chad Shaw with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.
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