An early morning explosion and fire destroyed a bay front home in the city of Ventnor, New Jersey on April 24th. The initial call was received at 0545 hrs as a reported structure fire.
The Chief of Dept., Daniel Cahill called the incoming units, via radio, and stated he could see the fire from his home and that there had been an explosion and to prepare for deck gun operations to protect exposures.
The on duty second platoon responded with 8 men, manning 2 engines, 1 tiller ladder and an ambulance. A general alarm recall was immediately issued for off duty members of the VCFD as was a request for mutual aid from the cities of Atlantic City (1 Engine and 1 Ladder) , Margate City (1 Engine) and Longport (1 Ambulance) .
The fire was under control in approximately 2 hours with a detail and investigation unit on scene for several more hours.
The fire totally destroyed the building of origin and severally damaged the D-side exposure. The vinyl siding was melted off 2 of the A- side exposures (across a street) and the D-1 & D-2 exposures. The estimated fire loss is approximately $450,000 and includes several cars parked on the street.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation at this time.