Early this morning a fire left three dead and 10 people missing at a Jersey Shore motel. The residents of this motel included Superstorm Sandy victims who were staying there because their homes remain uninhabitable nearly a year and a half after the storm. This is an unfortunate story, read more below.

Jayyiah Coles

Ten people who had been staying at the Mariner’s Cove Motor Inn were unaccounted for, but officials weren’t ruling out the possibility that they had escaped before the two-story wooden building two blocks from the beach was engulfed in flames. Eight people were injured, three of them critically in the blaze that broke out around 5:30 a.m. in this popular summer resort town.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said investigators interviewed motel management, and determined about 40 people were staying there when the fire broke out. The motel’s office was destroyed and many records were lost, he said, making an accurate accounting difficult.

Coronato said authorities hope the missing hotel occupants had simply gone elsewhere to stay with relatives, or to another motel, and asked them to check in with police.