Sparked Floor Liner or Gas Likely Caused Fatal Thanksgiving Tower Fire, Fire Department Says

Firefighters at Thanksgiving Tower December 11.
Firefighters at Thanksgiving Tower December 11.
Dallas Office of Emergency Management

Just over a month after a fire at Thanksgiving Tower killed three men working on the downtown building's HVAC system, Dallas Fire and Rescue gave the most definitive answer yet as to what caused the blaze.

Oscar Esparza-Romo, Luis Carrillo-Solorzano and Nicacio Carrillo-Martinez, were working in underground tanks when the fire started. The four tanks, which hold 360,000 gallons of water each, were emptied so the crew could do their work. Dallas Fire and Rescue believes that a cutting torch they were using caused either the plastic liner of the tanks or an "unknown gas" to ignite.

In the days after the fire, The Dallas Morning News reported that the men did not have fire extinguishers with them in the tank. Instead, they had two small buckets that a city official said likely held water to be used in case of fire.

Firefighters, who arrived at the tower less than two-and-a-half minutes after receiving the alarm, were unable to reach the men because of flames and heavy smoke. Damages to the $60 million building have been estimated at $20,000.


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