Several article links to the tragic story of a massive fire in Houston, TX that claimed the lives of four Houston firefighters and injured several others.

ABC News:

Four firefighters died and thirteen were hospitalized after battling a five-alarm blaze that overtook a Houston motel on one of the city’s heavily traveled expressways today.

The fire in the southeastern part of Houston quickly engulfed a motel, the Southwest Inn.

The thick black smoke was visible for miles and, as the fire spread, the building’s roof collapse,¬†ABC station KTRK reported.

“We can confirm for you, at this time, we have four fatalities,” said Janice Evans, a spokeswoman for the Houston Mayor’s Office. “Families are being currently notified … It’s a very sad day for the Houston Fire Department and the city of Houston, as a whole.”

Three firefighters were killed at the scene, while the fourth died at a hospital, The Associated Press reported.

One of the firefighters killed today was a female, and became the second woman to die in the line of duty as a Houston firefighter.

At least six firefighters were injured battling the fire and were taken to the hospital.

The deaths today made the fire the deadliest in the history of the Houston Fire Department, The Associated Press reported.

“Houston firefighters mourn the loss of our three brothers and our sister and will forever honor their sacrifices,” said Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association. “This tragedy underscores the inherent dangers of our profession. Please keep Houston firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.”

CNN News:

(CNN)¬†— Four Houston firefighters died after a hotel wall collapsed while they were battling a major blaze Friday, the mayor of the Texas city said.

“Today is going to go down … as the worst day in the history of the Houston Fire Department,” said Mayor Annise Parker.

Thirteen other firefighters are being treated at local hospitals, said fire Capt. Ruy Lozano. One of them is in critical condition with burns in an intensive care unit.

Lozano said the five-alarm fire started at a restaurant next to the Southwest Inn, in the southwest part of the city near Interstate 69. More than 150 firefighters responded to the blaze, Lozano said.

Some of them then went in “because we thought we had some civilians in the structure,” Garrison said.

“Unfortunately, the building had much more fire in it than we originally thought,” he added. “The structure collapsed … and our members who were trying to save lives were trapped.”

Fellow firefighters quickly sprang into action, some digging through the rubble to get to their colleagues. Garrison said the death toll could have been much higher if not for their bravery and quick action.

“(There were) dozens and dozens of acts of courage that took place in the seconds when that wall came in,” he said.

The firefighters killed are Matthew Renaud, 35, who joined the fire department in October 2001; 41-year-old Robert Bebee, who started in August 2001; 29-year-old Robert Garner, part of the department since October 2010; and Anne Sullivan, a 24-year-old who graduated from the Houston Fire Department Academy in April.

Fox News:

Four Houston firefighters died Friday while responding to a massive 5-alarm fire at a motel, a city official told FoxNews.com.

The local medical examiner’s office says three victims died at the scene, while the fourth died at a hospital. Six others were injured, one critically, and are hospitalized.

MyFoxHouston.com reported that over 100 firefighters battled the blaze in sweltering temperatures.

The fire broke out just after noon Friday at a restaurant and club at the Southwest Inn on U.S. 59, one of Houston’s most heavily traveled expressways. Flames spread to the motel part of the building and were still shooting from the roof of the structure more than an hour later.

Jeff Caynon, the president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, told The Houston Chronicle that reports from the field indicated that firefighters were injured in a roof collapse.

“The roof collapsed,” he told the paper. “I don’t know if that was folks outside next to the structure or inside when it collapsed, but the collapse is going to be the cause.”

Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison says the four were looking for people they thought were still trapped in the burning building.

At a news conference, Garrison said the firefighters “took the highest amount of risk possible” because they thought there were “civilians in the structure” when the roof collapsed. He said the firefighters “who were trying to save lives were lost.”

thanks Chris