Fire at 200-year-old home under investigation


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By Kayla J. Marsh
Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN – The cause of a structure fire that broke out in the Navesink section of the township is currently under investigation by the Middletown Township Fire Prevention Office, according to authorities.

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At approximately 8:10 p.m. on Feb. 26, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to 348 Hillside Avenue on a report of a chimney fire, according to Dennis W. Fowler, public information officer for the department.

Upon arrival, Fowler said first responding units encountered a heavy smoke condition emanating from the two-story, 200-year-old structure.

He said the colonial-style home, near Portland Road and the Beacon Hill Country Club in Navesink, is set back about 300 feet uphill from Hillside Avenue, which caused complications.

Fowler said firefighters used a Mansion Line (a 300-foot supply line that splits into two 1 ¾ hand lines) and hand tools to pull the plaster walls down from the first and second stories to make sure the fire didn’t expand into the attic.

He said responders then used Thermal Imaging Cameras to ensure that the fire was contained and to detect any fire extension behind the walls.

Efforts were then focused on quickly removing the smoke from the structure by using a series of fans and responders performed salvage and overhaul activities that minimized water and smoke damage to the structure and its contents, Fowler said.

Department Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Citaralla declared the fire under control at 8:35 p.m. on Feb. 26 and the last units cleared the scene by 9:49 p.m.

Approximately 60 firefighters from five stations of the Middletown Township Fire Department (Navesink, Brevent Park and Leonardo, Community, Belford Engine and Belford Independent) assisted at the scene, as well as the department’s Air Support Unit.

The Fairview First Aid Squad also stood by to provide EMS support during the incident.

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