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Police investigating Surf City motel fire

By Alison Parker
Published On: Jan 31 2013 03:22:44 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 31 2013 03:37:47 PM CST

Debbie Barker is a housekeeper at Tiffany's Motel. When she woke up this morning, she saw that part of it was gone.

Surf City Police say the original building of this popular tourist attraction was completely engulfed in flames. The motel's rooms that were built within the last few years across the street were untouched.

Police Chief Mike Halstead says there were two people occupying a room in the building that burnt down.

Halstead says one person left the room to get some money out of the ATM.

"When he came back, he found that the fire was engulfed," Halstead said. "There still was one person in the room. That person was slightly injured. He's at the hospital at this time."

Fire crews say it took them about an hour to put out the fire that started just after 3 a.m. They think the cause of the fire is suspicious.

Halstead says the man in the hospital could be a suspect. A home next to the motel was a total loss, and another building nearby also had some damage, according to Halstead.

Surf City Mayor Zander Guy has hope that the motel can recover.

"We bond together in times like this, and we will rebuild," Guy said. "I'm sure that people will be at this site years to come, enjoying our lovely weather and beaches here."

Investigators are at the scene right now, trying to determine the cause of the fire since the early morning hours. Police haven't released any updates about the man in the hospital or whether his injuries are life-threatening.