Caught on Camera

Video Shows Rescuers Responding to Alleged Arson at Fort Lauderdale Motel

Suspect facing arson charge in Oct. 23 fire at motel

NBC Universal, Inc.

New body camera footage shows police officers and firefighters responding to a fire at a Fort Lauderdale motel that authorities said was intentionally set.

Fort Lauderdale Police on Tuesday released the footage that shows the response to the Bali Hai Motel off U.S. 1 on Saturday.

The footage shows flames pouring from a room on the motel's first floor before firefighters arrive and rescue a man who was inside the burning room.

The man accused of setting fire to a Fort Lauderdale motel appeared before a judge for the first time. NBC 6's Marcine Joseph reports.

An officer then throws the man over his shoulder and takes him across the street to a fire station for help.

But police said that man, 44-year-old Martin Kendall, is the person who intentionally set the room on fire. Investigators even found a blowtorch inside the motel room, officials said.

"Witnesses on scene reported hearing him say 'let it burn' multiple times," Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson Ali Adamson said.

Officials said the two-story motel had several guests at the time.

"This very easily could have had a tragic difference to it," Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue's Stephen Gollan said.

Broward Sheriff's Office
Martin Kendall

Investigators said the fire destroyed a row of rooms but no one was injured.

Kendall was booked into the Broward jail on a first-degree arson charge. In bond court Wednesday, prosecutors said Kendall was a "threat" to the community. A judge ordered a mental health test and he was given a $35,000 bond.

Kendall will be fitted for a GPS monitor if he posts bond.

The motel is family-owned and the family is reported to be trying to deal with the aftermath of the fire.

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