OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) – Over a dozen crews in Brunswick County battled a massive fire that significantly damaged the Ocean Crest Motel in Oak Island overnight Sunday.
Crews responded to the oceanfront motel, located at 1471 E. Beach Drive, around 11 p.m. for a “heavily involved” structure fire.
A witness tells WECT the flames were as high as 30 to 40 feet in the air.
Video of the blaze sent to WECT by a witness shows dense fire through most of the motel with some rooms on the top level completely burned through.
The Oak Island Fire Department said that mutual aid companies began to clear the scene at 2 a.m. but that fire suppression and investigation continues. Crews also will be tending to hot spots throughout the morning.
An employee of the motel said no one was staying in the portion of the building that was burned. Work was being down on the decks so that part of the motel was closed.
Approximately 25 people were staying in other parts of the motel.
The owners of the motel live in the building that burned down but were able to escape unharmed. They said they have lost everything in the fire but told WECT they are overwhelmed by the support they’ve already received from the community.
Walt Logan, who has owned the motel since 2000, has no plans to rebuild the 10,000-square-foot building that housed 20 oceanfront rooms.
“It’s gone. We have more rooms left, but this was my premiere building. It brought in 70 percent of my revenue and it’s gone. It can’t be rebuilt,” Logan said during an interview Monday morning. “This is our retirement and our primary possession and we have lost everything. We are going to keep the other rooms up and running.”
“Responding units included: Oak Island E171, E172, E173, E174, L161, L163, C181, Bolivia E772, C782, Boiling Springs Lakes E472, C481, C484, Civietown T975, Grissettown-Longwood T3177, Leland E5271, Shallotte E1571, Southport E372, R384, C389, St. James E3771, C3780, M4795, R4779, Sunny Point E3572, Sunset Harbor E1872, Supply E1372, C1382, Tri-Beach L861, E874, Winnabow C680, T668, T669, Brunswick County EMS M47, M40 FM2, FM5, ES2 along with many OIPD and BCSO units,” the Oak Island Fire Department said in a post. “Big thanks to the Bolivia, Leland and Tri-Beach units that moved up to stand by in our neighboring districts while their personnel were helping on scene.”
Investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the fire.
A strong system that brought heavy rain, gusty winds and occasional lightning was moving through Brunswick County ahead of the first 911 call about the motel fire.
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