N.J. Alarm Activation Turns into Working Fire

A family was left homeless on January 2, 2013 after a fire that appears to have started in the basement heavily damaged the rear of their residence.

Firefighters responded at 2:21 p.m. to 650 East Woodbridge Ave. for a fire alarm activation. While en route, dispatch advised all responding apparatus that they were receiving additional calls reporting a fire. Upon arrival, heavy black smoke was pluming from the rear of the house and loud crackling could be heard. A handline was stretched through the front door and to the backyard where flames were engulfing the rear of the home and pressure relief valves on propane cylinders were popping, creating a loud roaring sound.

The heavy fire was knocked down within 10 minutes and the propane tanks were cooled with hose streams, but pockets of fire remained in the eaves and the second floor dormer. The fire was completely extinguished within a half hour and overhaul was conducted on the inside and outside of the home.

The fire was declared under control around 3:15 p.m.

A teenager was home at the time of the fire, but was able to escape safely after attempting to extinguish the fire.

There was no firefighter injuries reported at the scene.

The home was deemed uninhabitable by the Woodbridge Township Building Department.

Mutual aid fire departments from Colonia, Iselin #11, Hopelawn, and Fords responded to the scene to assist, while Woodbridge Fire Department stood by in Avenel's firehouse to provide coverage for the town.

The fire is being investigated by Avenel Fire Official Cory Spillar, but appears to have started in a dryer vent located in the basement. The cause is being ruled as accidental.

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