Owner keeps motel running after losing main building to massive fire

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OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — One business owner is trying to stay afloat after a massive fire burned part of his motel to the ground. Walter Lorgan lost his main building at the Ocean Crest Motel two weeks ago.

“It’s critical for me to keep this up and running,” Lorgan said.

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A little more than two weeks ago, a part of Lorgan’s ocean crest motel went up in flames. He is left fighting for his business, and hopes to make it through the season with his two remaining buildings.

But questions still remain about what sparked the fire.

“They could easily see that I had an electrical outlet outside that had shorted out due to the high windows,” Lorgan said. “Actually, where the fire would normally go out like it would in most places, it fanned the fire and made it grow more and more.”

Lorgan says he watched his security footage with the fire chief. He says they told him it was clear that an outlet shorted, and that the wind caused the sparks to spread.

Through dealing with insurance and trying to get concrete answers about the fire, Lorgan keeps pushing forward.

“It looks like we’re going to have a good year,” he said. “Obviously not enough to make up for the rooms we’ve lost, but people are going to keep coming down here. They love Oak Island, understandably. We are still the only oceanfront complex on the island itself.”

Lorgan says thankfully, he is almost completely booked right now. He says the motel is his livelihood, and he’s determined to rebuild.

He says he is waiting to hear back from insurance to figure out if rebuilding will be possible.

WWAY reached out to the NC SBI for an update on if they have found a cause of the fire, but we have not heard back.