Suspect arrested for arson after Fayetteville motel fire

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Sunday, July 31, 2022
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An early morning motel fire in Fayetteville left dozens of people displaced. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the fire was the result of arson and has identi

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- An early morning motel fire in Fayetteville left dozens of people displaced. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the fire was the result of arson and has identified a suspect.

Thirty-seven firefighters from eight departments responded to the Royal Inn at 2640 Gillespie Street around 4:20 a.m. Saturday.

Video footage showed the suspect going in and out of a room several times while it burned for 30 minutes before leaving. No attempts to extinguish the fire or notify anyone that the Royal Inn was on fire were made.

The sheriff's office said the suspect is Michael Devon Dunham, 44, of Saint Pauls. He has been arrested on charges of first-degree arson and burning of personal property.

Officials told ABC11 that more than 40 guests were checked into the inn and are now having to relocate.

The fire started on the bottom floor in room 112 and spread to the second floor.

No one was reported injured, but two people who were checked into the room where the fire apparently started have not been accounted for.

Heavy smoke and flames were seen shooting from a first-floor hotel room, which was subsequently destroyed by the fire.

Anyone with information about this investigation or Dunham's whereabouts is asked to please contact Arson Investigator R. Tyndall at (910) 677-5499. If someone wishes to report crimes anonymously, please contact the Fayetteville / Cumberland County CrimeStoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477). Information may be submitted electronically.