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One person burned, dozens displaced after motel fire in Salisbury, officials say

Crews said the fire was isolated to one unit.
One person burned, dozens displaced after motel fire in Salisbury, officials say
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 9:14 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) – A dozen people have been displaced, and one person was seriously burned, after an early Friday morning fire at the Foxy Lady Motel in Rowan County.

Officials said the fire started around 3 a.m. and was quickly put out by firefighters.

Although one unit suffered most of the damage, many are without a home.

“It wasn’t a little fire. It was a big fire in a little apartment,” said Danny Phillips, who lives in the motel.

The fire gutted motel rooms in a matter of minutes.

Witness said the fire was seen shooting out of the windows.

“What woke me up, it sounded like bullets popping,” Phillips said. “And then I smelled the smoke and so I just grabbed my pants and ran outside and got in my truck and moved my truck away from the building. I mean, I didn’t have a shirt on and I stood out here till daylight without a shirt.”

Crews said the fire was isolated to one unit. They confirmed that a man was taken to the hospital after suffering burns.

A man living in the unit where the fire started suffered burns and was taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

Rowan County officials talked to him briefly on the phone at the hospital.

“He said that he went to sleep last night reading his Bible,” said Deborah Horne, Deborah Horne, Rowan County Fire Division Chief/ Rowan County Emergency Services. “He was reading Psalm 91 and listening to gospel music, and he went to sleep.”

Neighbors said they heard the man yelling for help, but somehow, he made it out of the fire before anyone could assist.

“He said, ‘Ma’am, do you know how I got out?’ And I said no when anybody saw you were laying outside,” Horne said. “And he said, ‘I believe the Lord brought me out.’ And I said, ‘I believe you’re probably right.’”

Virginia Moore, the owner of Foxy Lady Motel, said she is relieved the man is talking but is devastated this has impacted so many people.

“It’s just too much, too much,” Moore said. “All these people that are affected by this, if it was just me, I’d be alright, but it’s lot of people affected by this.”

Phillips is unsure of where he’ll go next because of a tight budget and it being a holiday.

“It’s not a good feeling,” Phillips said. “I mean it wasn’t much but it was a place to live.”

Although Phillips is without a place to stay, the Red Cross has stepped in and offered resources for the people affected by this fire.

Phillips says he will likely spend a few nights in his truck until it gets colder outside.

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