Officials Concerned Over New Caney Hotel Fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/4/07-Longview

Officials Concerned Over New Caney Hotel Fire

    Fire guts a Texas hotel, as water and the sprinkler system comes up dry. The fire happened September 18th in New Caney, just north of Houston. Fire officials say both they hydrant and hotel sprinklers were not even connected to any water. Fortunately, no one was inside the hotel.

    As fire trucks arrive, they realize there's nothing they can do. No hydrant, no sprinklers, and no help to stop the hotel from burning to the ground. A situation fire marshals say could happen to any hotel.

   "You can send all the fire trucks in the world but if you don't have an adequate amount of water supply we can not protect life and property" says Longview Fire Marshal Mark Moore.

     Many hotels, like the Hampton in Longview never disconnect their water.

   "There's no point in which we would turn the water off in the entire hotel not just for that reason but for safety for security" says Longview Hampton Inn manager Cindy Smith.

     But it's a common practice with other hotels, sometimes disconnecting water to their sprinkler system for required maintenance. State code requires all hotels to maintain fire system sprinklers unless specifically notifying fire officials.

    "For no reason can you go in there and disable any life safety device" Moore says.

    The cause of the New Caney hotel fire is still under investigation.

     Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com

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