Fire Destroys Part of Bonifay Motel

BONIFAY, FL-- Kimberly A. Kirkland is a long term resident at the Economy Lodge. Thursday night she had a guest in her room. A little after 1:30 am Friday morning, the friends used a cigarette lighter to look for something under the bed.

That turned out to be a mistake.

"It was an accident. True, she shouldn't have had the lighter down by the bed, but she didn't think about it, and I didn't think about it. And wham, before you even had a chance to think about it the place was on fire," said Kirkland.

"We responded to find room 342 fully involved in flames," said assistant fire chief Scott Cook.

From there the fire got into the attic and traveled to 7 other rooms.

A firefighter working on the roof, injured his knee. Paramedics took him to the hospital.

"He was evaluated and released. He will recover fully," said Cook.

Kirkland was not injured physically, but she's says she's still facing a long road to emotional recovery.

She has not seen her dog since he ran outside during the fire.

"I don't want to cry..., but he is the only thing I have left. Everything else went up in flames," said Kirkland.

The Red Cross is also assisting Kirkland.

Although the fire appears to be accidental, fire officials say the investigation remains open.