1 dead in Lumberton, N.J. motel fire

LUMBERTON, N.J. - April 4, 2014

The fire broke out in room 309 at the Travel Inn Motel shortly before 9:00 a.m. Friday.

Firefighters encountered very heavy smoke when they got to the motel.

They managed to contain the flames to just one room in a cluster of ground floor rooms toward the rear of the property.

The Travel Inn Motel is a familiar site along Route 38 at the intersection of 541. The rooms are available daily, weekly and monthly.

The motel manager says the occupant of room 309 was a weekly renter. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim's identity has not been released.

Lumberton Police Chief Tony DiLoreto explains, "They were able to pull one adult male subject out of the room. Unfortunately, it is a fatality."

The fire was reported by Matthew Hempel, a lieutenant with Evesham Fire-Rescue. Investigators say Lt. Hempel was on his way to teach a court at the Burlington County Emergency Services Training Center when he noticed smoke coming from the motel.

He managed to overcome the smoke to find the victim and bring him outside. Unfortunately, the man had already died.

Police detectives and fire investigators are still trying to determine how this fire started. At this point they have not ruled out foul play, but that doesn't mean they suspect it.

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