The Old Ambassador Hotel was one of the most iconic landmarks in the city until Tuesday morning. According to a report by local CBS News affiliate CBSDFW, the flames and smoke completely destroyed the hotel, which was 115 years old. Firefighters did their best to rescue the living monument, but in the end they were unsuccessful.
The Ambassador Hotel in the very early hours of Tuesday morning. Dallas Fire Rescue first reported the blaze on Twitter at 1:48 a.m. CT, and soon firefighters were on the scene. The building was empty thanks to a recent renovation effort, although that makes the fire that much more tragic.
Before long, the middle second of the building had completely collapsed, leaving the hotel's two taller portions as skeletal remains. Firefighters cooled the blaze down to a few patches of hot spots, and finally declared it extinguished at 5 a.m. CT.
It took more than 100 firefighters put out the mighty blaze, and even then it was not easy. The responders reportedly tried to enter the building at first to work on the fire from the inside. Before long, however, they decided that this was too dangerous, and took a "defensive posture" outside.
“We actually had separate fires north of where we are in downtown Dallas that were reported on the rooftops of some of the buildings in that area,” explained DFR spokesman Jason Evans. “Some of the embers from this fire ignited construction material on top of those buildings, thankfully those fire didn’t escalate.”
Firefighters worked to ensure that the fire would not spread beyond the Old Ambassador Hotel to the other surrounding structures. The building is six stories tall, and flames were reportedly "shooting" out of windows and through the roof. The smoke became an issue too, as it blew in the wind and billowed across Interstate 30, obscuring visibility for late night drivers.
“The flames were really high," a witness told KRLD anchor Alan Scaia. "Debris was coming across the interstate. You could actually feel the heat.”0comments
In the end, there is no salvaging what remains of the 115-year-old luxury hotel. It will reportedly be demolished for safety reasons, although there is no telling what could go up in its place.
Meanwhile, investigators are reportedly looking into what caused the tragic fire, but there are no leads yet.