A fire that engulfed the Mariner's Cove Motor Inn in in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., around 5:30 a.m. has left four people dead, according to Prosecutor Joseph Coronato. Eight others were injured. Nine other people who were reported to be unaccounted for were found by Friday afternoon.
A woman who stayed in a hotel room shower when the fire erupted was rescued from the building.
"She was smart enough to stay down," said a fire official, who added that firefighters put up a ladder, broke a window, put the fire out and brought her to safety.
The fire was declared under control just after 7 a.m.
Investigators and firefighters continued to sift through the debris and rubble looking for more possible victims.
40 people were staying at the hotel when it caught fire. Many of them lost their homes during Superstorm Sandy and were still trying to get back on their feet.
The Mariner's Cove Motor Inn is about two blocks from the beach.
Four of the victims were taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center and one was transported to Barnabas Burn Center with serious burns.
Seven civilians and one sheriff's officer were injured, said Coronato.
Several local volunteer fire departments responded to the scene.
"They only rescue we could make was that one woman. She saved her own life," said a fire official during a news conference late Friday morning.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.