HILLSBOROUGH: Family killed in fire is identified


By Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
The identities of the three Hillsborough residents killed in the Oct. 25 apartment fire on Farm Road were released by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office earlier today.
According to Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Vinod B. Damodaran, 44, Sreeja Thekkekoical-Sasi, 38 and Aardra V. Nair, 13, were found dead in their second floor apartment when firefighters from Hillsborough Fire 36 entered the unit.
Officials said the fire had already “fully engulfed” the upstairs portion of the apartment building, located at 43 Farm Road in the Hillsborough Garden Apartments complex, when emergency personnel arrived at the scene at about 10 p.m.
The two-alarm fire resulted in personnel and apparatus arriving at the scene from Hillsborough Fire 36, Hillsborough Emergency Medical Service Units, Hillsborough Woods Road Fire 37-102 and 37-103, Neshanic 48 Fire, Hillsborough 38-151, Raritan Borough Fire, Somerset County Communications Office of Emergency Management, Hillsborough Township Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross.
Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Hillsborough Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, the Arson Task Force, New Jersey State Fire Investigators/K-9, Hillsborough Township Fire Inspector and Investigators from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the fire investigation.
As a result of the blaze, half of the affected building’s 16 apartment units have been deemed uninhabitable.
The Prosecutor’s Office said the three individuals were identified as father, mother and daughter.
“Hillsborough Township was deeply saddened by the tragedy that struck our community,” Hillsborough Mayor Frank DelCore said in a press release. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with all the individuals impacted by this devastating event.”
Officials said the cause of the fire, as well as the family’s cause of death, is an ongoing investigation.