4 Dead, 8 Hurt in Fire at Point Pleasant Beach Motel
Four people are dead and 8 injured after an early morning fire at the Mariner's Cover Motor Inn in Point Pleasant Beach Friday.
All the victims of the fire were male, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, Of the eight persons injured, most suffered burns and were taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center or Brick Medical Center. One woman was treated for severe burns at the Burn Center at Saint Barnabas in Livingston.
One woman was taking a shower when the flames broke out at around 5:30 a.m. and authorities attributed her survival to the fact that she decided to remain in the shower to await rescue.
Coronato said 40 people were registered in the motel's 25 rooms. He said he could not confirm early reports that some of the motel's occupants were displaced victims of Superstorm Sandy victims.
Mark Jacobi of Metro Public Adjusters --at the site assisting with damage claims-- said: "Many people stay there over the winter because rates are low. These are people with no where else to go and they just lost everything."
Two eyewitnesses, Debbie Steward and Maryanne Smith, both of Point Pleasant, said they arrived on scene around 6 a.m. to find the building engulfed in flames.
Earlier today, investigators and firefighters went room-to-room and sifted through the rubble in an effort to locate victims, according to Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. "It’s all hands on deck to clear the building and make sure everybody is accounted for,” he said.
Assistant Ocean County Fire Marshal Ed Hazelton described the hotel as being completely destroyed to the Star-Ledger.
The flames were very intense and kept firefighters from immediately approaching the building, according to 6 ABC. Water was pumped from Manasquan Inlet to put out the flames in the hotel, which is located two blocks from the beach.
One occupant of the motel, a Sandy victim relocated to Marina's Cove, said he woke to the sounds of crackling and screams but did not hear any alarms when the fire broke out. The young man said there are many older and disabled people who are staying there. Point Pleasant Beach resident Tom Vogel said the motel, which had no concrete walls, went up "very, very fast."
The fire was declared as being under control at 7:06 a.m. according to Newsworks.
New Jersey Fast Traffic reports that Broadway in Point Pleasant Beach is closed between Boston Avenue and Ocean Avenue
Ilya Hemlin, Matthew White, Dianne DeOliveira, Dakota Schrantz, Tom Mongelli and the Associated Press contributed to this report.