Early-Morning Fire Guts Historic Fort Worth Motel

Old Victorian Motel believed to be vacant

By Frank Heinz
|  Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 12:22 PM CDT
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A Fort Worth landmark went up in flames Tuesday morning and now investigators are trying to figure out why.

Keaton Fox

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

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Historic Motel Destroyed by Fire

The historic Victorian Motel in Fort Worth was destroyed by fire Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

Fire Destroys Historic Fort Worth Hotel

Fort Worth Fire Department spokesperson Tim Hardeman talks about a fire that destroyed the Victorian Inn on Hemphill Street Tuesday morning.
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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.

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.

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