Two Bodies Found In Saturday Morning Condo Fire: One Man Charge For First Degree Attempted Burglary

Two Bodies Found In Saturday Morning Condo Fire: One Man Charge For First Degree Attempted Burglary Featured

By / Local News / الأحد, 07 كانون1/ديسمبر 2014 05:00

Audio of press conference held Sunday morning included in report

By: Willard H. Killough III
Managing Editor

A fundraiser has been organized to aid the families impacted by the fires. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pleasure-Island-Fire-Relief-Fund/381921241933205 for more information.

Audio of press conference held at the Carolina Beach Town Hall Sunday December 7th at 10:30AM with District Attorney Ben David, Police Chief Ken Hinkle, Fire Chief Alan Griffin, Mayor Dan Wilcox, and others.

CAROLINA BEACH, NC: A press conference was held Sunday December 7th, at 10:30AM. District Attorney Ben David announced that 22-year-old Marshal Hudson Doran of Kure Beach was arrested for First Degree Attempted Burglary and is a person of interest in the investigation of three fires that occured early Saturday morning, December 6th. Officials reported two bodies have been located in the rubble of the 12-unit condo building that was totally destroyed. Doran is being held at the New Hanover County Dention Center under a $2.5 million dollar bond.

Firefighters responded to a total of three fires. Two on Carolina Beach Avenue South and another at the Sea Ranch Motel in Carolina Beach. The first started sometime around 2am at an oceanfront 12-unit condo building at 409 Carolina Beach Avenue South. Then another several blocks south of the first fire at an oceanfront 12-unit condo building at 811 Carolina Beach Avenue South. Then farther south at the Sea Ranch Motel at 1123 South Lake Park Blvd.

Police arrested Doran that morning following the fires and charged him with attempted first degree burglary at 611 Carolina Beach Avenue South. There were no reports of fire at that residence.

David said the investigation is on going and more details will be released as the case goes through the judicial system. He pointed out that  intentionally starting a fire resulting in a persons death is first degree murder in North Carolina.

He said they hope to identify the bodies through medical means and an autopsy scheduled for later this week.

Doran was charged earlier this year with two counts of felony death by motor vehicle when two people died in a hit and run incident on I-40 in Wake County, NC. Those charges were later reduced to second degree murder. He was out on bond awaiting trial in Wake County. He was also charged in that incident with driving impaired and felony drug possession in addition to resisting arrest.

Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with local fire investigators continue to investigate the fires. Police and investigators were still on scene Sunday morning mapping out the scene of the first fire where the two bodies were located. The area is still a crime scene and police have blocked off area streets to restrict access while investigators continue to examine and collect evidence.

The area looked like a war zone with the occasional sound of car tires and likely gas tanks in vehicles rupturing. While firefighters worked to control the first condo fire, power transformers were popping and large pieces of the structure were falling to the roadway below. As firefighters worked to control the blaze and stop it from spreading to adjacent multifamily buildings, someone announced there was another fire nearby. The mood among firefighters and crowds watching from nearby was one of disbelief. Assistant Fire Chief Granger Soward raced to a fire truck and headed south several blocks to find a vehicle on fire with flames spreading to another large oceanfront condo building.

Police officers at that time were searching the area on foot for a suspect seen running along the beachfront. Then officers rushed to South Lake Park Blvd because of a report that an individual was running down that road headed south. Shortly after that, word of another fire at the Sea Ranch Motel was was announced.

Soward used the public address system on the fire truck to alert people to evacuate the second condo building as smoke and flames crept closer and started running up the outside wall. Residents gathered with their pets across the street. Residents were directed to walk north to a Town parking lot where a command center was organized. The Red Cross set up a tent and began passing out blankets and water to residents who sat on nearby curbs and bumpers of ambulances waiting for more information fro authorities. Detectives with the Carolina Beach Police Department were speaking with witnesses throughout the morning gathering statements.

Fire Chief Alan Griffin coordinated with other fire departments from Kure Beach, the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and even a department from as far away as neighboring Pender County. One important factor that helped firefighters control the fires was the lack of ocean-breeze or strong winds. The air was largely calm.

At the present time, all three fires are under investigation. If anyone has information about these incidents please contact Detective Moore of the Town of Carolina Beach Police Department at 910-508-3975.

The Red Cross has set up a temporary Resource Center in the Town of Carolina Beach Recreation Center located at 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd. Anyone needing assistance resulting from these tragic events may go the Recreation Center or contact the Red Cross at 910-509-8038.

According to Town Manager Michael Cramer, "We are currently identifying all residents, renters and visitors in the area of the three locations, in order to assess short and long term needs. To request information about potential individuals affected or to report the names of people in these areas please contact the Red Cross at 910-509-8038. At this time we do not have a list of needs for the victims, however, the town is working with several local non-profit agencies to establish a donation center for financial contributions. As more information is developed we will pass it along."

The Red Cross disaster relief is set up at the Carolina Beach Recreation Center. They said any and all donations as far as toys blankets and clothes should be made to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. That is where they will collect items to give to victims of the fire. Anyone interested in donating gift cards and other items can bring them directly to the Recreation Center, Red Cross staff during rec center hours. The Recreation Center is located behind Town Hall at 1121 North Lake Park Blvd.

Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said Saturday, "Please see the Link on the Town website for the latest information on local relief efforts. This is a fund that will be used to provide assistance to those families so tragically effected by last nights fires. The Mayor will have an additional press announcement posted soon. In addition to this several Island organizations and individuals are stepping up to offer some points of contact. Jay Muxworthy, Greg George, Jamsine Mckee, the Island Men are a few. If you know these folks reach out and I'm sure there are others. Hopefully a coordinated effort will help all those effected and provide the most benefit. The residents of this island are an amazing group of caring souls."

District Attorney Ben David speaking at a press conference held Sunday December 7th at the Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Marshal Hudson Doran. Age 22 of Kure Beach, NC. Charged with 1st Degree attempted burglary and a person of interest in the three fires early Saturday morning, December 6th.

Early Saturday morning fire at the 12-unit condo building at 409 Carolina Beach Avenue South.

Early Saturday morning fire at the 12-unit condo building at 409 Carolina Beach Avenue South.

Early Saturday morning fire at the 12-unit condo building at 409 Carolina Beach Avenue South.

Early Saturday morning fire at the 12-unit condo building at 811 Carolina Beach Avenue South.

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