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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Victim of motel fire identified


LIVINGSTON – Officials released the identity last Friday of the man found dead in a burned-out room at the Royal Inn fire, which occurred Sunday, Dec. 11. The deceased is Caleb Wayne Maze, 22, of Livingston. The investigation is continuing into the cause of death and the origin of the fire. The fire was reported at 9:26 p.m. Sunday by someone calling from the Pizza Hut restaurant across the street, Livingston Fire Department records show. Although flames were quite visible above the roof of the building, the motel’s fire alarm was never activated. LVFD dispatched 24 firefighters and four firetrucks to the scene. Since initial reports did not isolate which particular building in the complex was burning, Cochran said he also alerted Onalaska and Scenic Loop fire departments to respond. Scenic Loop sent six firefighters, an engine and a tanker. Onalaska brought seven men, an engine and a tanker. “We had the fire knocked down and under control within eight to 10 minutes of our arrival,” said LVFD Chief Corky Cochran. “We got the fire knocked down and we were working on hot spots when we found the body.” Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Steven McEntyre performed the inquest and ordered the body to be taken to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office. Lt. Matt Parrish of Livingston Police Department said the area is being treated as a crime scene until the cause and origin of the fire and the cause of the victim’s death are determined. Parrish added that the hotel will remain closed as utilities have been turned off until building code and safety concerns are addressed. As the investigation progresses, updates will be posted to the Enterprise’s Facebook page.


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