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Surf City motel destroyed, one person hurt


SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) -- A three-alarm fire in Surf City overnight left a motel and at least one home destroyed and a man in the hospital.

Tiffany's motel went up in flames around 3 a.m. The building was a historic part of Surf City. When the call came in, flames were engulfing Tiffany's motel, and strong winds quickly spread the flames to nearby buildings.

"When I responded on the scene, the motel was fully destroyed and impeding on the second structure," Surf City Fire Chief Joseph Rivenbark said. "The second structure is a total loss and there is probably about a 25 percent loss on the third structure."

The motel office and a neighboring home are gone. One man went to the hospital with burns on his hands, feet and face, but was released Thursday afternoon with minor injuries.

Some say the greatest damage may be the loss of a piece of Surf City history.

"It is heart-wrenching, because this motel is a landmark," motel manager Regina Carter said. "It has been here since the '50s, this part of the motel, before it became Tiffany's."

Surf City's Glenn Giddens says friends and family have always found a home at Tiffany's. The motel has been part of his life since it was first built.

"It is just that it is such a nice known landmark here in Surf City that we hate to see it go in such a tragedy like this," he said.

Investigators are still looking for the cause of the fire. Carter hopes it was just an accident.

"If it was an accident, that was understandable," she said. "If it was on purpose, than that is a different story, but we'll move forward. We'll be OK."

Carter says anyone who has reservations will be accommodated in Tiffany's larger building across the street that was not damaged in the fire.

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