NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN) — Fire swept through the Newport City Center Motel early Friday morning, killing 4 people, injuring at least 3 others and displacing 50 people.
The fire broke out around 6 a.m. Friday. Newport Police said parts of the motel on SW Coast Highway were engulfed in flames when crews arrived and guests were evacuated as the flames spread to parts of the nearby Days Inn.
Around 4 p.m., the bodies of a man and women were found, then 2 more bodies were discovered around 8 p.m. The people perished in 2 different rooms, one above the other. Investigators believe the lower room is where the fire began.
The hotel guests who raced out of the building recounted some terrifying minutes.
“We got out of our hotel room because we heard people screaming at like 6 in the morning, ‘break a window or smash the window’ and let’s go come on,” Liliana Bodiou said. “They were just screaming.”
A temporary shelter has been set up for hotel patrons at the Newport Armory. Officials say water in Newport may have a dirty color due to the amount of water used to fight the fire but the water is safe to drink.
The Newport Police Department said all guests from the City Center Motel were accounted for except the occupants of 2 rooms.
“It’s horrible. It’s a tragic event,” said Lt. Jason Malloy with the Newport Police Department. “It doesn’t matter how big or small the city. We’re a coastal community, we thrive on tourism and it’s sad that it resulted like this.”
The cause of the fire is still unknown. The search for evidence will continue.
KOIN 6 News reporters Kohr Harlan, Brent Weisberg, Emily Sinovic and Lisa Balick contributed to this report.