Homeless man accidentally causes Rowland motel fire with cigaret - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Homeless man accidentally causes Rowland motel fire with cigarette, officials say

Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4 Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4
Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4 Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4
Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4 Source: Chief Buddy Ray, Dillon County Fire Department, Station 4
ROWLAND, NC (WMBF) - A motel building fire on Highway 301 in Rowland, North Carolina was ruled accidental by officials.

According to Rowland Police Chief, John Reaves, a homeless man was resting in the building and accidentally set off the fire with a cigarette. 

North Carolina fire officials used an arson investigator to find the source of a fire that occurred at motel building, according to fire officials. The building went up in flames Sunday evening, and a second building caught fire later in the night, according to fire officials. According to Chief Reaves, the two motel buildings in the front were on fire, and there were four buildings in all. Officials say the office building was not touched either.


Monday, Reaves said there were still hot spots in both buildings, and crews were not able to get in to look for a source at that time. An arson investigator from Robeson County Sheriff's Office was called to assist in the investigation, officials say. 

The property has been vacant for 10 to 12 years, and law enforcement has been trying to get the buildings torn down because of the appearance, and theft from the property, Reaves said. 

Witnesses said late Sunday evening a fire was spotted at an old motel on Highway 301 North. That location is close to South Of The Border, just across the state line.

The Dillon County Fire Department, District 4, provided mutual aid to the Rowland Fire Department, according to an official with the department. The fire was reported at about 6 p.m. Sunday night.

Dillon County firefighters responded to the scene a second time at about 10 p.m. Apparently, embers from the first fire landed on a second building.

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