Extended stay motel destroyed by massive fire

CROSBY, TX The fire started at the Crosby Motel off Highway 90 near Crosby-Lynchburg. It was a two-story building, but the fire burned so intensely that the second floor collapsed onto the first floor. The structure was a permanent place to live for some people, people who will now have to find a new home.

The remains of the hotel were still burning 12 hours after the fire started. The Crosby Volunteer Fire Department was still spraying hot spots early Sunday evening as guests searched for anything that the fire may have spared.

"I was confused and I had to go back and wake up my girlfriend because she is deaf. She couldn't hear," said said motel resident Fred Barger. "I woke her up and when we walked out, I was knocking on a few other doors."

Barger is one of the permanent residents of the Crosby Motel. Barger says the fire started around 3:30am Sunday and while all of the people escaped, he did lose his pets.

"I left the door open for my puppy and my cat to get out, but when they get scared, they run and hide under the bed," said Barger.

Barger now plans to move in with his daughters. Others are staying at nearby motels, thanks to the American Red Cross.

Fred Butler and his children were in the motel when the fire started, but managed to get out.

"It was hard because of all the smoke. It was hard to get everybody out," he said.

Butler was one of seven people taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Hotel guests say the fire started on the second floor.

Volunteers from the Crosby Fire Department say the motel had a common attic and little could be done to keep the blaze from racing through the building. Guests say as the flames spread, people were fleeing for their lives.

"I heard my windows break open and doors break open and they came in, grabbing me out and everything. My whole room was so smoky that you couldn't see in it. That is when I grabbed what I could off my nightstand," said motel guest Larry Flowers. "By the time they got me downstairs, the whole top of the building was all covered in flames, like 20 to 30 feet high."

The Harris County fire marshal's office hasn't yet determined the cause of the fire.

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