Explosion & Fire at Downtown Houston Building

The fire caused heavy damage to a three-story building that served as headquarters for a non-profit that, among other things, has provided legal support to thousands of hurricane and flood victims.

Video footage taken by witnesses and posted on Twitter showed the first floor of the building at Fannin and Bell streets in flames and thick black smoke rising from it. One witness also reported hearing some type of explosion before the fire broke out.

A firefighter was apparently injured and was taken to a hospital, firefighters told The Houston Chronicle. No updates were available Monday afternoon.

Firefighters battled the blaze from just past 9 a.m. to around 1 p.m.

Witness Christopher Hisle spotted the blaze out of his apartment window at 9:12 a.m. and shot dramatic photos of the blaze and of firefighters who he said arrived about 12 minutes later. A downtown station is only a few blocks away.

A firefighter said the fire department didn’t find anyone inside the building. The incident is under investigation, but a potential cause might have been a gas leak.

It was not immediately known if the blaze was connected to the Harvey-related flooding.

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Source: Chron