By Brandon Goldner

WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — A three-alarm fire at the Windward Motel in Wildwood on Tuesday has been ruled accidental. Fire officials say the blaze was caused by welding work that was taking place at the motel.

No one was injured as firefighters said the motel’s owners and workers safely evacuated before they arrived at the building just before noon.

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Wildwood Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III didn’t know if the motel was open for bookings, but neighbors said the motel, located at the intersection of Ocean and East Bennett Avenues, was undergoing renovations.

“It’s a two-story motel so it’s pretty simple how to get down,” Troiano said. “Some of these other places, where you’re in a hotel, and you have multiple floors, you definitely want to be aware of your surroundings so if you have to evacuate, you know there’s more than one way out.”

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Phil and Pat Indelicato saw fire trucks speeding down their street and walked down to see what was happening.

“Even just coming down our street, you could smell the smoke,” Pat Indelicato said.

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As firefighters worked, families watched in awe as some cheered firefighters on with handmade signs.

Brandon Goldner