Police and fire personnel have accounted for all guests registered at the City Center Motel. At 4:00 P.M, two bodies, one male and one female, were discovered deceased beneath burned rubble. The bodies were later identified as motel guests Tammi Sue Hepner, 51 years of age, and Allen Arthur Hepner, 63 years of age; Portland, Oregon residents. They had been staying in room 221. Next of kin has been notified.
At approximately 8:00 P.M., two additional bodies were discovered deeper in the burned rubble. The bodies were later identified as motel guests Sandra Sue Shoemaker, 60 years of age, and Danny Keith Shoemaker, 64 years of age; Springfield, Oregon residents. They had been staying in room 220. Next of kin has been notified.
As a result of the fire, room 220 and 221 became engulfed in flames, which blocked the entry/exit of each room. As the fire spread, the second floor collapsed onto the first floor. Preliminary investigation showed that the Hepners and the Shoemakers died from causes related to the fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The origin of the fire was determined to be in room 103, which is a ground level room. The cause of the fire and additional details surrounding the fire, including smoke detector operation is still under investigation. The investigation is being conducted by the Newport Police Department, and Newport Fire Department, with assistance by the State of Oregon Fire Marshall’s Office.