Investigators are back at the scene Tuesday of a massive fire that destroyed a Salisbury, Massachusetts, motel and four other buildings early Monday morning.
A spokesperson for the state fire marshal's office said investigators are working to find out where and how the fire started. Given the scope of the damage, they said a determination isn't expected to be made on Tuesday.
Aerial footage from the scene on Tuesday showed backhoes digging through what's left of the five buildings, which amount to little more than rubble at this point.
The fire at Michael’s Oceanfront Motel in Salisbury was called in around 1:45 a.m. Monday, fire officials said. The fire spread to and destroyed four other buildings described as residential, and damaged several others, officials said.
Preliminary information suggests that two occupants of the motel escaped safely. No injuries were reported.
Mutual aid was called in from numerous neighboring communities in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. All together, more than 100 firefighters from 30 separate fire departments helped to fight the flames.
Whipping winds of 20 to 30 mph made it difficult for firefighters to contain the blaze and keep it from spreading further.
“Our top priority throughout the night was to protect the surrounding community from a large and growing fire that was being pushed toward other structures by high wind conditions,” Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan said.
Videos and photos from the scene showed large flames burning multiple structures in the beach town, located just south of the New Hampshire state line.
“I looked over and the flames were licking the top going this way toward the back street,” said Robin Weisenstein, who was woken up by firefighters knocking at her door across the street from the motel around 2:45 a.m. She has worked at the locally owned beachfront motel for the past seven years.
The American Red Cross said it was assisting more than 30 people displaced by the fire.