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'Everyone helped in their own way.' Guests take action to escape large Howard Johnson hotel fire

Dozens of guests were forced into the cold overnight as a large fire destroyed part of the Howard Johnson hotel in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township.

News 12 Staff

Mar 3, 2021, 4:21 PM

Updated 1,207 days ago

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Dozens of guests were forced into the cold overnight as a large fire destroyed part of the Howard Johnson hotel in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township, and heroic lifesaving actions helped keep the fire from turning into a tragedy. 
The fire began around 3:30 a.m. and took about two hours to get under control at the intersection of the Black Horse Pike and the Route 42 freeway.
Flames could be seen coming from the roof of the building when the Gloucester Township Police Department first arrived. Two out of the three buildings caught on fire, but all 30 guests walked away unhurt. After escaping his own room, Dyquise Gibson ran up to the third floor to help others get out.
“I started knocking on the doors, banging on the doors, yelling, 'Fire, fire,' and I tried to direct them to the stairways and get as many people out as I can,” says Gibson.
Alyssa says she was in a deep sleep when her friend pounded on the door waking her up. “Always look through your fire plan. Always, always, even if you think it's a false alarm, just go, get out,” says Alyssa.
No injuries have been reported. There is no word yet on the cause of the fire. “Everyone helped in their own way,” says Gibson. “Everyone made noise and let everyone know who was outside. I just felt like I took it to go upstairs toward it, make sure everybody gets out.”
The displaced guests have been put up in other rooms unaffected by the fire.


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