Fire In The Vault
A sudden electrical fire in the basement of the Southwestern Bell Building downtown has put five energy workers in the hospital with "significant electrical burn injuries." The Houston Fire Department rushed to the tall building on Capitol and gave that injury report after some confusion reigned over the downtown incident.
Some media outlets reported that a high-rise was burning, but the electrical fire actually broke out on the bottom of the Southwestern Bell Building in the electrical vault and was quickly put out. The fire damage to the building itself is minimal, according to the HFD, but the workers are dealing with very serious injuries. A fire department official tells KHOU that the injured were hit with 480 volts of electricity in the incident.
They were rushed to Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center.
The five people burned are all with CenterPoint Energy. It's yet to be confirmed if they were working on the building's electrical system when the fire broke out in the vault. Electrical fires are considered particularly dangerous because there is often no smoke or warning.
Several streets around the building have been closed off, affecting traffic on San Jacinto, Capitol and Texas.
Come back to CultureMap for more updates as further details emerge.