Houston airport fire grounds United Airlines flights

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport is a major hub for United Airlines.

February 5, 2023, 3:29 PM

A fire Sunday morning in a laundry room at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a 90-minute ground stop on all United Airlines flights to Houston, officials said.

The FAA issued the ground stop shortly before 5:30 a.m. local time and lifted it about 7 a.m., officials told ABC Houston station KTRK.

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. in the airport's Terminal C in an employee laundry room, airport officials said on Twitter. The FAA issued the ground at the request of United Airlines, the agency said in a statement.

A person waits for their plane departure at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Dec. 03, 2021 in Houston.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE

All United Airlines flights to Houston, a major hub for the airline were held at their departure cities due to the fire, authorities said.

Houston Fire Department firefighters quickly responded to the laundry room blaze, evacuated all employees and put out the fire.

"There's a whole lot of damage from the smoke and the heat. There's not a whole lot of fire damage because it seemed like a small fire that spread over time," Brian Cresswell, a spokesman for the Houston Fire Department.

No one was injured in the fire and no damage was reported to Terminal C, officials said.

"There still might be a lingering smell of smoke. United Airlines passengers might be delayed as ops return to normal this morning," airport officials said in a statement posted on Twitter at 8:23 a.m. local time.