Early Friday morning, a fire broke out at a motel on the Jersey Shore, killing three people and injuring eight. Ten people remain unaccounted for, though officials said they may have escaped before the blaze.
“Right now, we’re in search-and-recovery mode,” Joseph Coronato, the Ocean County Prosecutor, said, according to the Star-Ledger.
The fire started at the Mariner’s Cove Inn in Point Pleasant at about 5:00 am and quickly spread, destroying much of the motel and forcing trapped residents to jump from windows.
“I had to (jump), there was no other way out,” motel resident Peter Kuch told the Associated Press. “My window was only open an inch and flames were already starting to come through it. There just was no other choice.”
One woman was rescued after firefighters found her fully clothed in the shower, running water over herself to keep away the flames.
“There were a lot of flashovers,” A. J. Fox, Point Pleasant fire chief, said, according to the Star-Ledger. “There was no way we could even get to the windows. The only rescue we could make was that one woman. …She saved her own life being in the shower, water running, and everything just came together right for her.”
Forty people were staying at the motel at the time of the fire, including several people displaced by Hurricane Sandy.