Fire Confined to 27th Floor
Four alarm blaze at historic downtown Chase building
UPDATE: Houston firefighters controlled the blaze after more than four hours. The building is closed on Tuesday. The fire was confined to the 27th floor, which houses the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association. Although early reports said it was a four alarm fire, fire department officials on Tuesday said it was a three alarm fire.
Firefighters are fighting a four-alarm fire at the historic JPMorgan Chase building in downtown Houston.
Channel 13 reports that fire and smoke are coming from the 27th floor of the historic building in the 700 block of Main Street. The METRORail line in front of the skyscraper has been halted and fire trucks have surrounded the building.
An official on the scene told a CultureMap staffer that the fire started near the elevators.
Seven firefighters were transferred to Memorial Hermann Hospital and treated for minor smoke inhalation. No other injuries have been reported.
Described as a cross "between a wedding cake and a medieval castle," the building has been a Houston landmark since the late 1920s and is considered a prime example of art deco architecture. Houston legend Jesse Jones spearheaded construction of the 36-story building in 1929. It was designed by noted architects Alfred C. Finn, Kenneth Franzheim and J.E.R. Carpenter.
Originally known as the Gulf building, with the big Gulf logo atop, it was the tallest building in Houston until 1963. It was renovated in 1987.
The exterior of the building does not appear damaged, although fire officials planned to break out some windows on the 27th floor to help create ventilation.
Officials also said a water main break occurred that flooded part of the underground tunnel system below the Chase building.