ambassador

Photo courtesy Dallas Fire and Rescue

Although it’s currently unclear just when the blaze began, reports began to appear around 2 a.m. Tuesday that the currently vacant Ambassador Hotel was in flames.

Dallas Fire and Rescue arrived to find the second and third floors burning, and by 2:15 a.m., the structure was fully involved. It appears that more than 45 units responded to the four-alarm blaze, according to a rough count of the active call list on the DFR website.

What remained in the light of day was heartbreaking.

The building was vacant, so there were no injuries. There had been reports early on about the potential cause of the blaze being attributed to a transformer blowing, but Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jason Evans said that may not be the case.

“During the course of fire suppression efforts a transformer in front of the hotel blew, but I never heard any reports indicating power lines to be down before that point,” he said Tuesday morning. “As far as the cause is concerned, it is currently undetermined.”

“Considering the amount of damage done by the fire, debris left by it and the likelihood that the amount of debris will only increase when the rest of the structure is demolished,  the chances are slim that investigators could get the access that would allow them to fully examine the evidence they’d need to in order to rule anything out,” Evans added.

“We’re just west of it at The Beat – 1001 Belleview St,” said Facebook user Darlene Schneider, who shared this photo taken by her husband, Roman Montemayor, around 1:30 a.m.

A Youtube user captured this video (you may want to leave the sound off).

Dallas Fire and Rescue officials said the 9-1-1 calls came in shortly after 1:30 a.m. The building appeared to be a total loss. Nearly simultaneously, fire crews were battling blazes at the 600 block of South Harwood Street and the 1800 block of Corsicana Street. Reportedly, the roof of another hotel on Harwood caught fire after embers from the Ambassador fire fell there, but was quickly put out by firefighters. (more…)

Staff Reports

After 20 years serving the North Texas real estate community, multiple sources have confirmed that Virginia Cook Realtors will close for business on April 15. The brokerage, which has five offices throughout the region, is helmed by its eponymous founder and executive officer Sheila Rice. David Griffin & Company Realtors, formerly a brand of Virginia Cook, separated more than a week ago. 

According to one source, the brokerage has just 67 homes on market priced between $3 million to $7 million, with only one sold since the beginning of 2019. We have reached out to multiple representatives with Virginia Cook for an official statement and have not received a call back. There’s no word on where exiting agents with the brokerage will land.

(more…)

From Staff Reports

Ebby Halliday Realtors has appointed Betsy Cameron sales manager of its Ebby’s Little White House office. Chris Kelly, president and chief executive officer, recently made the announcement.

“A fourth-generation Dallasite with 15 years of real estate experience, Betsy brings proven leadership skills and industry expertise to our iconic Little White House Office at the corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road,” Kelly says. “A natural teacher and mentor who has led other well-known local sales offices, we are very pleased that she has chosen to grow her real estate career with the Ebby Halliday Companies.”

Cameron is passionate about the residential real estate business and the professional relationships that she is privileged to enjoy.

“I am very relationship-driven,” Cameron says. “Relationships are at the heart of real estate, and I am excited about supporting and serving our Little White House agents. The most important thing for me is to understand how each operates so I can better serve them.”

(more…)

Oak Lawn Heights

A hail of early morning gunfire disrupted and terrified residents on one street in Oak Lawn Heights Sunday (photos courtesy Sharmin Ashtaputre)

Sharmin Ashtaputre’s family has never really felt unsafe in their Oak Lawn Heights neighborhood in the four years they’ve lived there. But early Sunday morning, that sense of safety was shattered as bullets rained down in their daughter’s nursery.

“At 5:30 a.m. today, we were woken up by what sounded like fireworks,” Ashtaputre said. “Well, it was two moving cars shooting at each other, and they picked our street.”

“My husband and I woke up within the first couple of shots and there were over 40.” (more…)