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Fire destroys unfinished Phoenix hotel, forces evacuation of another

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — One Phoenix hotel was saved while another under construction burned to the ground early Tuesday morning.

Almost 50 people were evacuated from a Holiday Inn Express near Tatum Boulevard and Loop 101 after a fire from a nearby hotel being built began around 3:30 a.m.

There were no injuries.

Flames were visible for miles, shooting at least 40-50 feet high.

Capt. Ardelle Deliz with Phoenix Fire said the fire blew out windows of the unfinished hotel before reaching the Holiday Inn. That fire was put out quickly.

Authorities said 49 people were forced out of 34 rooms.

All that remained of the hotel next door were the elevator shafts.

Kirit Patel from Zimbabwe, in the Valley on vacation, was sound asleep when the fire alarms went off.

“I grabbed my slippers and ran out leaving everything behind. You hear about things like this and think it will never happen to you but it did,” Patel said.

Hotel guests won’t be allowed back inside Tuesday and will have to make other arrangements.

Embers also started a few spot fires in the desert area around the sites, but they were put out without problems.

Cause of the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa worked the blaze.