Guests of a motel in Hauppauge had to be relocated Friday night after a fire broke out when a man fell asleep while smoking, Suffolk County police said.

Some of the relocated guests of Olympic Motor Lodge on Vanderbilt Motor Parkway were reported to include Hurricane Sandy families, but an American Red Cross spokesman said there was no indication that any of the guests they assisted were Sandy victims.

The Red Cross responded to the scene and met with eight people—a family of four, a family of three and one man—and discovered that they were already being assisted by the Department of Social Services, which put them up at another hotel, Red Cross spokesman Michael de Vulpillieres said.

The blaze, which is being investigated by Suffolk County Police Arson Squad detectives, broke out just after 8 p.m., police said. According to police, a guest in a second floor room admitted that he had fallen asleep while smoking and woke up to a burning mattress. He unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire, which spread to two adjacent rooms, police said.

The motel was evacuated as firefighters from Brentwood, Hauppauge, East Brentwood and Central Islip descended on the motel and extinguished the blaze.

There were no reported injuries, police said.

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The motel had 17 occupied rooms at the time of the fire, police said. The motel sustained fire and water damage, police said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

The Red Cross confirmed that Olympic Motor Lodge wasn’t a designated motel for Sandy victims, de Vulipillieres said. He noted that some guests may have been working on Sandy response, and were never affected by the hurricane.


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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: Twitter: rashedmian