Cigarette Sparked Deadly NJ Motel Fire: Probe
Four people were killed and eight were injured after a fire broke out at a motel on the Jersey Shore where some residents still displaced by Sandy have been staying, authorities and witnesses tell NBC 4 New York. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Saturday, Mar 22, 2014)
Updated at 8:47 AM EDT on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014
Authorities say the Jersey Shore motel fire that killed four people Friday was caused by an improperly discarded cigarette, a preliminary investigation reveals.
The cigarette was discarded in a stuffed chair along a wall of the smoking area at the Mariner's Cove Motor Inn in Point Pleasant, investigators determined after recovering video from the motel's surveillance system.
Autopsies on the four victims killed in the fire concluded they each died of smoke inhalation and the manner of death was accidental.
John Alberti, 45, of Keansburg is the only victim who's been positively identified. The other three victims have been tentatively identified as 20-year-old Paulo Martins of South River, 52-year-old Harold Ford of Twin Lake Heights and 66-year-old Albert Sutton of Mount Laurel.
Authorities said they were all found on the second floor.
Eight others were injured in the fire, some critically.
The hotel has a capacity of about 100 people, and was believed to have been occupied by about 40 guests at the time, including some people who were previously displaced by Sandy.