At 9:08 am on Saturday, Aug. 13, the Middletown Township Fire Department (MTFD) was dispatched to West Front Street in Lincroft, where a structure fire was reported by a caller passing by. The witness reported seeing a fire in the garage with big flames and people evacuating the structure, including a subject in a wheelchair.
Officials from the Middletown Township Police Department were the first to arrive on the scene and confirmed heavy fire in the garage area. MTFD Deputy John Waltz arrived and confirmed the initial fire report. He then requested backup from the Rapid Intervention Team and other support units. The first arriving engine was assigned to deploy two 1 ¾” hand lines to the garage, attacking the origin of the fire and fire’s progression in the garage’s attic, working into the living area of the ranch-style home.
During the fire, the line providing power to the house from the street detached and landed over the driveway. This safety issue had to be addressed while firefighters continued fighting the fire until the power was cut at the street. A 5” hose supply line from the nearest fire hydrant 200 feet away was deployed.
Simultaneous to the fire suppression efforts, search and rescue operations employing thermal imaging cameras were employed to ensure no residents were inside the structure and that all fire was found and extinguished.
The building utilities were secured by New Jersey Natural Gas, Jersey Central Power and Light and New Jersey American Water.
The fire was placed under control by MTFD Deputy John Waltz at 9:30 am. All units were cleared from the scene at 11:05 am, officials reported.
Approximately 47 firefighters from four companies of the Middletown Township Fire Department responded to the call from Navesink, Middletown Fire Company No. 1, River Plaza Hose and Lincroft Fire companies. Additionally the MTFD Air Unit, Fire Police and the Safety Unit also responded.
Seven members of the Fairview and Leonardo First Aid Squads provided medical services to 12 firefighters. No firefighter injuries were reported.
It should be noted while this fire was being fought the MTFD was also dispatched to Brookdale Community College for a fire alarm. Apparatus from Lincroft, Old Village and Port Monmouth Fire Companies resolved this incident simultaneously.
All units operated safely under the supervision of Middletown Township Fire Department Fire Deputy John Waltz.
The fire is being investigated by the Middletown Township Fire Marshal’s office under the direction of Fire Marshal Edward Skelly.