Fire Burned Through Motel Used for Drugs and Prostitution

BELVILLE -- A massive fire burned through the night at a motel that was shut down last week, after investigators said it was home to drugs and prostitution.

The fire erupted at the Town and Country Motel just before 9 p.m. Monday. Flames shooting into the air were visible from downtown Wilmington.

The fire started in a room on the second floor, firefighters say. All four people on record for staying at the motel were accounted for.

Resident Thomasine Macklen was planning to move out of the motel by mid-week.

"My dogs start barking and I saw the blue lights flashing through the window," said Macklen. "I heard the firetruck and I grabbed my dogs and I come down to the office and saw flames in the office."

The power and water were cut off in the building last Friday.

Just hours before the fire broke out, Albert Boney, owner of the motel, was served with abatement papers in jail, saying that no one can occupy the motel any more.

The fire is under investigation. Firefighters have not determined what caused the fire.

Reported by Nicole Ferguson