JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) — A neighborhood on El Paso Street is where the Jacksonville Fire Department was called out on Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m. When they arrived on the scene they were met with a massive fire at the historic Hotel RITUAL.

“The gear which we wear at fires only just traps the heat to the body that much more,” said Keith Fortner, Jacksonville Fire Chief

The Jacksonville Fire Department quickly jumped into action and ran straight into the blaze.

“When we were at full force our guys were working steady for 4 to 5 hours,” said Jeremy Pate, Jacksonville Fire Marshal.

The triple-digit temperatures and the scorching flames started to get to the firefighters, even 2 bystanders were treated on the scene for heat-related injuries.

“Your clothing becomes saturated with sweat and water and it becomes very restrictive, and on top of that the heat really gets to the firefighters when they are fully geared out,” said Fortner.

That’s when the Jacksonville Fire Department decided they needed to call for backup.

“We called many agencies in the other day because of the heat. You know, our guys can only work for so long and then they had what we call rehab, they had to take a break. Well the fire builds whenever you take breaks. You know you try to cycle people in and we did, but people have to take breaks,” said Pate.

Three firefighters were injured in Sunday’s fire. Two have been released from the hospital with minor injuries, and a third is still recovering from a major injury.

“Once collapsing started happening from the second floor down to the ground level, then we had to get our guys out for safety, and then we just started attacking it from the perimeter,” said Pate.

Hotel RITUAL staff did mention to first responders they saw smoke coming from the vents and lights in the dinning area flickering.

They planned to expand in the coming months, but now they are faced with replacing priceless antiques. The Jacksonville fire marshal is having to wait to investigate the cause of the fire until they can get rid of 6 feet of water in the basement.

“Which is a shame, because it is an older home, and you know kind of a staple in the city. Everybody knew where it was,” Said Pate.

The Jacksonville Fire Department is extremely thankful for the community that showed up to provide water, towels and snacks to keep firefighters going in the heat. They did all they could, but Hotel RITUAL is a total loss.