Video of Deadly New Jersey Motel Fire Released

A raging fire that killed four people at a Point Pleasant Beach motel in March started when one of the residents fell asleep standing up while smoking a cigarette over a chair, reports

Portions of the videotape released today by the prosecutor’s office capture the minutes before the fire broke out at the Mariner’s Cove Motor Inn on Broadway on March 21 and show how flames spread so quickly that authorities said patrons in nearby rooms had little chance of getting out.

The video from the motel shows John Alberti, who was killed in the fire, walk in to the outdoor lounge area on the second floor, pick through an ashtray possibly in search of cigarettes and rummage through the chairs.

Within minutes, Alberti, who appears to be impaired, falls asleep while bent over one of the chairs with his head propped against it. At one point, embers are visible on the end of his cigarette and at the next moment they are not. Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato surmised the embers fell into the corner of the chair before Alberti woke up and left the area.

“The official cause cited is the impaired actions and careless use of smoking materials by longtime motel resident John Alberti,” Coronato said in a statement released with the video.

Read more of the story and watch the video here


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