04/07/04 — Fire at Wayne Motel to be investigated

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Fire at Wayne Motel to be investigated

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 7, 2004 2:07 PM

A fire damaged three rooms at the Wayne Motel on Tuesday night and was referred by fire officials to Goldsboro police for a further investigation.

The guests were evacuated quickly, and no one was injured.

"We're trying to determine the cause," police Sgt. David Kelly said today. "We're looking at the electrical system and the appliances."

Wayne Motel fire

Bobby Williams

Goldsboro fireighters battle the fire.

The fire started in Room 26, but the registered guest, Candi Todd, was visiting a friend a few doors away, Kelly said.

"Someone yelled, 'Fire,'" he said, "and she came out and saw her room on fire."

When firefighters arrived, "the fire was leaping from the doors and windows, and one room had major damage," Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Langston said today.

The blaze also spread to the adjoining Rooms 25 and 27, but both were vacant.

Seventeen firefighters answered the 10:41 p.m. call with four engines, a ladder and a command car.

"We stopped the fire quickly," Langston said. It was controlled within 14 minutes.

"But salvage and overhaul work was difficult," he added, "because of the remodeling that had been done over the years. They had two drop ceilings and had recovered the walls.

"We also had to ventilate the room," Langston said.

Firefighters had to stay more than two more and did not leave until 1:12 a.m.

"The Fire Department did a good job in containing the fire to these rooms," Kelly said. "It could have been worse."

Investigator Trey Ball was assigned to the case. He was being assisted by other police officers and SBI Special Agent John Rea.

Damage was estimated at $40,000 to the building and $5,000 to contents. The building was valued at $300,000 and contents at $50,000.

The motel owner, Jaishree Patel, could not be reached for comment.

The affected guests were moved to other rooms. Those staying in other wings were allowed to return to their rooms.