• Investigators: Discarded cigarette sparked deadly motel fire

    Updated:

    HILDEBRAN, N.C. - Officials said a 53-year-old man has died after he was rushed to the hospital after a fire broke out at a Burke County motel early Friday morning.

    Guests at Lowman’s Motor Court on U.S. Highway 70 in Hildebran woke up to smoke just before 7 a.m. and tried to use a hose to put out the flames that were coming from one room.

    Firefighters arrived a short time later and were able to pull a man from that room.

    He was then rushed to Frye Regional Medical Center where he died, according to the fire chief. His name has not been released.

    "I was asleep and when I came out I saw the smoke. First thing I thought was grab the garden hose," said Joshua Morton, a motel guest. "He's the type of person who would give his shirt to somebody to help them. And he has a lot of wisdom and he taught me a few things."

    Investigators believe a discarded cigarette sparked the fire and estimated damage to the motel at a few thousand dollars. The SBI is assisting in the investigation.

    Check back wth wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.

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