The fire that killed a man and gutted the Capitol Hotel early yesterday morning started in the victim’s room, authorities have said. An investigation into the cause of the fire at the Capitol Hotel revealed that improperly discarded smoking materials could not be ruled out as a factor, said Capt. Thomas Hayes of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The fire, which ultimately displaced 50 residents of the hotel, began in room 24 on the hotel’s third floor, Hayes said. The room’s occupant, a 56-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination revealed he died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, Hayes said.
Authorities are withholding the victim’s name pending notification of his family in Poland.
“We have to go through the embassy or consulate over there. It takes a while,” Hayes said.
Three Lakewood police officers – patrolmen Edward Miick, Steve Kawolski and Leonard Nieves Jr. – were released from the hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation.