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Three Construction Workers Die In Downtown Dallas Fire

Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Three workers died in a fire at the Thanksgiving Tower in downtown Dallas Thursday afternoon, Dallas Fire-Rescue says.

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked Thursday's fire in the basement of a Dallas skyscraper that killed three construction workers.

Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Joel Lavender said Friday that investigators found code violations in the accident at 50-story Thanksgiving Tower. He didn't elaborate.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office on Friday identified two victims as 36-year-old Oscar Esparza-Romo and 43-year-old Leroy Carrillo, both of Dallas.

The coroner didn't immediately identify the third man killed in Thursday's accident. Autopsy results are pending.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says the victims were in a thermal storage tank that's part of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit.

All three subcontractors worked for Best Mechanical Inc. Company spokeswoman Cheri Torres said the crew had safety equipment. A message left with the company wasn't immediately returned Friday.

The estimated 2,800 people in Thanksgiving Tower evacuated. Three people were treated for breathing problems. 

Original post, Thursday afternoon: Three construction workers are dead after a fire erupted in a downtown Dallas high-rise, prompting the evacuation of thousands of office workers from the building.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said fire-rescue workers found the men in the basement of the 50-story Thanksgiving Tower. They were in the thermal storage tank that's part of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit beneath the building.

Evans says the preliminary belief is that the 10 a.m. Thursday fire was electrical in nature because of the thick smoke it gave off, but the cause and ignition point remain undetermined. The three-alarm fire appeared to be quickly contained but not before smoke billowed through the complex.

Fire-rescue crews were working Thursday afternoon to remove the bodies.

Authorities say about 2,800 people were evacuated from the structure. Firefighters gave some people oxygen as they exited the building. At least two people were taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

At least one of the men killed was a subcontractor hired by Best Mechanical Inc. out of Seagoville. “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to these families, especially at this time of the year,” said Cheri Torres, a spokesperson for Best Mechanical. She said all the men had safety equipment, and had evacuation procedures.

Doualy Xaykaothao is a newscaster and reporter for NPR, based in Culver City. She returned to NPR for this role in 2018, and is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts. She also reports on breaking news stories for NPR.