Security guard helped motel guests to safety

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five rooms were damaged by fire at a Northside motel Saturday night, and the motel is still working with its insurance to assess the damage.

There were no injuries at the Executive Inn off Balmoral Circle, near Interstate 95 at Dunn Avenue, and Greg Barkley is partially to thank.

He was working security at another location when he noticed heavy smoke coming from the motel. That's when he rushed over to see what was happening.

"And that's when I saw the smoke get real big, and I started banging on the doors to let the people know to get out of the motel because the motel was on fire," Barkley said.

The man staying in the room where the fire started managed to escape and call 911.

Until help arrived, Barkley focused on alerting people of the fire and helped about 10 reach safety.

"People had kids, they were scared, terrified," he said.

Barkley said it could have been a lot worse because the fire spread quickly.

"It just exploded and it came to red flames, and within 10-45 seconds it caught on to the other two motels (rooms)," he said.

Firefighters arrived in a few minutes, and the fire didn't take long to put out.

The Executive Inn said it's unsure why the fire started.

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