Early-Morning Fire Guts Historic Fort Worth Motel

Old Victorian Motel believed to be vacant

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Fort Worth landmark went up in flames Tuesday morning and now investigators are trying to figure out why.

    A large 2-alarm fire gutted the historic Victorian Inn Motel in Fort Worth early Tuesday.

    The fire was first reported by a police officer at about 3 a.m. at the two-story hotel along the 1800-block of Hemphill Street.

    Firefighters initially tried to enter the building to battle the fire, but pulled back due to concerns over the stability of the structure and the intensity of the fire.

    In all, 26 units were called to the scene so that firefighters could be rotated in and out of the fight and to protect surrounding structures.

    Historic Motel Destroyed by Fire

    [DFW] Historic Motel Destroyed by Fire
    The historic Victorian Motel in Fort Worth was destroyed by fire Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

    Until a fire damaged the building last fall, it had been used as a motel and boarding house. 

    "Since that time the building has been boarded up and when we arrived on scene today firefighters had to force entry to get inside -- through some of the boards on the doors," said Tim Hardeman, Fort Worth Fire Department spokesperson.  "We don't know if it was vacant.  We haven't been able to search it. A lot of times you get vagrants in these structures that they'll go in and use them as a place to get out of the cold."

    Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene Tuesday morning as investigators work to determine the cause of the fire.

    So far, there have been no injuries reported in connection with the fire.

    According to HistoricFortWorth.org, the building was built in 1922 and was recently added to their list of the Fort Worth's Most Endangered Places.

    NBC 5's Chris Van Horne and Keaton Fox contributed to this report.