O.C. Prosecutor’s Office: Preliminary Findings Show Improperly Discarded Cigarette Caused Mariner’s Cove Motel Blaze

mariners tlsOcean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced that the Mariner Cove Motel fire investigation has preliminarily revealed that the fire originated in the 2nd floor designated motel smoking area and was allegedly caused by an improperly discarded cigarette. More specifically the origin was located along the east wall of the smoking area in a stuffed chair.

The team of investigators from federal, state, county, and local departments arrived at their findings thanks to the expert forensic assistance of the Ocean County High Tech Crime Unit in recovering critical video from the severely damaged motel surveillance system. As the investigation moves forward the investigative team will continue to analyze the recovered video, pre and post scene photos, along with interviews of motel guests and management.

Prosecutor Joseph Coronato stated, “This is only the beginning of an intensive investigation aimed at answering the many questions surrounding all the circumstances that contributed to the tragic deaths, injuries and loss of property. This release comes as investigator’s meet with local code officials, representatives of the Medical Examiner’s Office, and surviving motel guests to secure a comprehensive final report.”

The Medical Examiner autopsies of the four victims have concluded that the cause of death was due to smoke inhalation and the manner was accidental for all four victims. To date the one victim positively identified is: John Alberti, 45, of Keansburg, NJ. The three others, all New Jersey residents, are tentatively identified as: Paulo Martins, 20, of South River, Harold Ford, 52, of Twin Lake Heights/Neptune, Albert Sutton, 66, of Mount Laurel. The Medical Examiner is continuing the forensic investigation to definitively achieve positive identifications. All next of kin have been notified.

Those injured in the fire are:

Killol Shah, 25 yoa: Cuts to hands and face. Treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and released.
Karl Green, 60 yoa: Burns to left arm and neck. Treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and released.

Melanie Deieso, 22 yoa: 2nd degree burns to legs. Treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and transferred to St. Barnabas Burn Center in stable condition.

Alexis Scarpone, 20 yoa: Treated and released from Ocean Medical Center. No information on injuries available.

James Gianuzzi, 51 yoa: Treated and released from Ocean Medical Center. No information on injuries available.

Keri Anderson, 42 yoa: Treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and transferred to St. Barnabas Burn Center and remains in critical condition.

Frank Smith, 51 yoa: Scalp burn and 1st degree burns to shoulder and back. Treated and released at the scene.

As stated, the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact Det. Thomas Haskell, Jr of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or the confidential tip line at www.oceancountyprosecutor.org.

The agencies participating in this investigation are:

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office – Arson, Homicide, and High Tech Crime Units
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
The New Jersey State Police
The New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office
The New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office – Canine Unit
The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department – Criminal Investigations Unit
The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department – Canine Unit
The Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office
The Point Pleasant Beach Police Department
The Point Pleasant Beach Fire Department
Toms River Police Department
Manchester Police Department
Jackson Police Department
Berkeley Police Department

[TLS]

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.