Wind-Whipped Fire Destroys Salisbury, Mass Hotel
A fire fanned by gusty winds destroyed a Salisbury motel and several other buildings early Monday morning despite the efforts of firefighters from two states.
The nine alarm fire started at Michael's Oceanfront Motel on Central Avenue along the ocean as winds gusted out of the north, fanning the flames that spread to at least three other buildings according to Northeast Fire Alert's on Twitter and video from the scene.
Captain Andrew Murphy told CBS Boston that the fire, which destroyed the motel and four single family homes, is the town's worst in the past 25 years. No one was injured according to Murphy.
The gusty winds and rain made it difficult for fire crews to get significant water on the fire.
Nearby resident John McGuirk told WCVB that he woke to police pounding on his door with orders to get out immediately.
"There was a frantic cop yelling 'everybody's gotta get out of here, there's a fire down the street, the wind is blowing it this way. Everybody's gotta get out,'" McGuirk said.
The motel was evacuated as the fire grew. Each alarm brought in fire crews from all over the Seacoast including Epping, Exeter, Portsmouth, Hampton, Kensington, and the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Approximately 30 people displaced by the fire have taken temporary shelter at the Hilton Center senior center on Lafayette Road, according to the Red Cross of Massachusetts. The Salvation Army of Lynn and the Massachusetts Emergency Manageent Agency were also on site with blankets, meals, and beverages.
Power and utilities were shut off on Central Avenue.
Northend Boulevard was closed from the intersection of Broadway to the area of 150 Northend Boulevard, according to Salisbury Police.
The motel is surrounded by beach homes to the north and a parking lot to the south. According to its website, it has been open for 17 years and offers off-season long and short-term rates.
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