Hotel under renovation damaged by fire

HOUSTON No workers were hurt in the fire, which erupted just after 7am at the Travelodge off the Katy Freeway near the West Loop.

Firefighters worked quickly to put out the flames this morning. The Houston Fire Department pulled three alarms and said it was the tar on the roof that created the thick black smoke that was seen from miles away.

Construction workers were inside as part of the renovation. The fire appears to have started in a laundry area in the lower center portion of the building. There is some concern about possible structural damage to the building and to the construction area. So structural engineers have been called out to evaluate.

"The scaffold is leaning dramatically and there are also a couple of construction members who were affected by the heat that were evaluated," said a fire official at the scene. "The good news is that this was not an occupied building, other than workers."

The workers were all able to get out safely. No firefighters were injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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