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Impaired man sparked hotel fire

Local News | Jul 03, 2014

Impaired man sparked hotel fire

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say an impaired resident of a Jersey shore motel who fell asleep face down in a couch while smoking touched off a blaze that killed four people.

The Ocean County Prosecutors Office on Wednesday released its final report into the March 21 blaze at the Mariner’s Cove Motel in Point Pleasant Beach.

Surveillance video from inside the motel shows John Alberti rummaging through seat cushions in a lounge. He later is shown face down on the couch with a lit cigarette.

The video shows him sleeping with the glowing tip of the cigarette no longer visible. Smoke and flames erupted about 90 minutes later. Alberti, who officials say was impaired by opiates in his system, was among the four killed in the blaze.

Authorities previously said a cigarette discarded in a chair touched off the fire, which was declared accidental.

The motel housed several Superstorm Sandy victims.