ISELIN, NJ – A fast moving fire tore through a single-family dwelling in the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township, sending one of the occupants to the hospital with burns. Flames were visible from the one-story ranch-style home by people driving by on nearby Route 1.
On Feb. 16, at 4:02 p.m., the Iselin #9 and Iselin #11 Fire Departments responded to 31 Austin Ave. for a reported house fire.
Iselin #9 Chief Ed R. Mullen notified dispatch that he had a working fire with heavy fire showing from two windows on the A-side and a door on the D-side of the house.
The crew on Iselin Engine 9-5 went into hand line operation. Firefighters stretched and advanced a hand line through the front door, where they encountered heavy fire conditions.
An additional hand line was stretched to the D-side of the house and advanced into the basement, where there was some fire extension. Firefighters using two hand lines knocked the bulk of the fire within 15 minutes.
Iselin #9 Truck 9-2-4 set up in front of the house and sent a crew to the roof to conduct vertical ventilation. The roof was cut and heavy smoke and heat could be seen pushing from the vent hole, but no visible fire was showing.
Firefighters ventilated and conducted extensive overhaul on both the exterior and interior of the house to ensure there was no hot spots remaining. Some minor fire extension was found in the attic, but was quickly extinguished.
The fire was declared under control at 4:26 p.m.
The home sustained heavy fire and smoke damage throughout and was deemed uninhabitable by the Woodbridge Township Building Department.
There were no firefighter injuries.
An elderly man was transported to St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston and treated for burns.
Mutual aid fire departments from Colonia, Hopelawn, and Fords assisted at the scene, while Avenel and Keasbey Fire Departments covered the town during the incident.
Woodbridge Twp. EMS provided medical evaluation and rehabilitation for the firefighters operating at the scene.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Iselin Fire Prevention Bureau, but appears to have started in the kitchen.