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Fire that destroyed motel and home being called 'suspicious'

Published On: Jan 31 2013 04:03:10 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 31 2013 04:45:31 PM CST

A fire is being considered suspicious after it destroyed a motel and a nearby home in Pender County Thursday morning, sending one person to a hospital, emergency officials said.

Arson investigators and FBI agents went to the scene of the three-alarm fire, which erupted just after 3 a.m. Thursday at Tiffany's Motel, on North River Drive in Surf City.  According to police, two people were occupying a room inside the motel, when one decided to leave the building to go to an ATM. That was when the fire somehow started, injuring the remaining person inside the motel.

The fire fully engulfed the motel, destroying it, investigators said. Flames also spread to nearby buildings, destroying a home behind the motel. A third building was heavily damaged, firefighters said.

The high winds made battling the blaze difficult, authorities told our reporter on scene.

The person hurt was taken to a hospital, but the extent of the victim's injuries was unknown. Investigators were still trying to determine a cause of the fire.