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Fire at the Starr King Motel



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These charred remains are all thatís left of the six living units at the Starr King Motel and Cabins on Route 2 after a Monday morning fire. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
September 22, 2010
LANCASTER — The Starr King Motel and Cabins was subject to a devastating fire Monday morning that destroyed six living units and almost took the residence of the business' owner.

The Route 2 drive to Jefferson is home to many business landmarks, but none so humble as the mom and pop run cabins with rainbow paint and motel with striped doors. In the motel portion there is now only the scorched skeleton of what used to be bedrooms for the weary traveled.

Never in the 40 years of running the business has Hungarian owner and barber Frank Pecze experienced such a disaster. He awoke around 2:30 a.m. Monday and noticed light flickering from his window and saw flames when he looked outside. Mr. Pecze immediately called 911 and the fire department arrived shortly after.

"We arrived to find it fully involved and impinging on the residence," said Lancaster Fire Department Media Liaison Lt. Mike Kopp, "So we immediately focused on the residence."

There are scorches where the fire had flamed against the side of the building that Mr. Pecze and wife call home.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it originated in the center of the six units and worked its way outward.

No one was injured during the fire as the living units were unoccupied at the time. The damages are upwards of $75,000 according to Mr. Pecze and depending on what his insurance will bring he has plans to rebuild what was lost.

Fire Departments from Lancaster, Jefferson, Whitefield, Groveton, Dalton, Stratford Hollow and Lunenburg aided in suppressing the blaze in a two and a half hour endeavor. The only complication was that the property was just out of the hydrant district. Six water tankers in total were utilized through mutual aid and filled at the Lancaster Fire House. There was also a propane tank that firemen were able to distance from the fire in time.

"Everything went smoothly once we had a water supply established," said Mr. Kopp.

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