DALLAS –– It took firefighters about 20 minutes to contain a three-alarm fire Wednesday afternoon that began in the fifth floor of a nine-story downtown building that is being renovated into a hotel.
Flames began shooting out the windows of the building on Elm and Griffin streets at noon. Sixty-five firefighters called to the scene had the blaze under control by 12:20 p.m., battling it from the inside.
Dallas police cleared surrounding streets in the area due to falling glass and DART service on all four light rail lines was suspended through downtown.
The building was being renovated into a Hilton Homewood Suites, which is set to open in August 2013. All of the construction workers inside the building when the fire began were safely evacuated, said Mindy Dennis, the future general manager of the location.
"There's not any carpet installed in the building; really, it's just concrete floors," she said. "It's basic construction, as of now."
Workers told News 8's David Schechter that they were installing sheet rock when the fire started.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit spokesman Mark Ball said rail operations at Deep Ellum, Victory, Union and City Place/Uptown stations were suspended, and buses were used to relay passengers to connection points beyond downtown.
Rail service resumed before the evening rush hour, but DART advised that delays were likely until schedules could be realigned..
Police closed the intersections of Field Street at Elm Street; Griffin Street at Elm Street; and San Jacinto Street at Field Street.
Investigators said the cause of the fire has not been determined.