An early morning fire Thursday destroyed a coastal motel in Surf City.
By 9:30AM on Thursday, a State Bureau of Investigation team was on site to begin surveying the damage and working to find the cause of the fire.
Tiffany's Motel in Surf City burned to the ground, and the flames also spread to nearby homes. A house near the motel was destroyed by the fire while crews worked to save a second house that caught fire. About 25 percent of that house was burned.
The motel manager tells WITN a gentleman guest checked in last night to one of the single rooms. He had a guest over, and the manager said she left the premises by 9PM that night.
Fire crews from ten different departments arrived at the burning motel at 3:15 a.m. While the motel spans both beach front and further inland property, the fire started in a part of the motel that housed eleven single rooms and the main office, nearest the beach access. Two people were inside when the fire started. One person has been hospitalized with burns, according to WECT-TV.
"Oh it's devastating, it's just devastating," said motel manager Angelina Carter. "Luckily we only had one guest, which is where the fire started, in his room. That's a blessing, no one was hurt."
Officials are still looking for hot spots and for what started the blaze at the motel, according to Surf City Fire Chief Joey Rivenbark.