Local News

Wilson Motel Rooms Gutted by Fire; No Injuries Reported

Posted October 19, 2000

— Investigators are looking into the cause of a suspicious fire early Friday at a Wilson motel.

The fire, which started about 3:30 a.m. at the Days Inn on U.S. 301 South, gutted three unoccupied rooms on the second floor. No one was injured.

Tonya Lavender was working at the front desk of the two-story motel when she heard what sounded like shattering glass. She saw the fire and started banging on doors telling guests to get out of their rooms.

Lavender said she heard what sounded like an explosion.

"I thought I was going to panic," Lavender said. "Everybody got out safely."

The fire was extinguished in about an hour. Motel guests like the Pender family spent the early morning hours in their car. They still find it all a little hard to believe.

"Basically, I thought I was dreaming until I found out, it was really a reality," Pender says. "It was frightening, but thank God, nobody got hurt."

An arson task force investigating the blaze says some kind of flammable liquid was used in the fire. It is waiting on test results to determine what exactly was used.

The motel is closed until further notice. The 25 displaced guests were sent to another Wilson motel. andBrian Bowman

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