HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Fire claims life of 70-year-old man, leaves homes uninhabitable

The Hopewell Township Police Department, along with the Pennington Fire Company and Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, responded to a Pebble Creek Court address for the report of a structure fire on Wednesday. Fire officials said the building was left uninhabitable and that responders found the body of David Burket, 70, on the first floor. An investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Jim Macheda)

A 70-year-old man died when a fire broke out at his Pebble Creek Court townhouse in the Brandon Farms subdivision shortly before noon on Jan. 3, according to the Hopewell Township Police Department.

David Burket, 70, was found on the first floor of the townhouse by firefighters when they went inside the unit, police said. The firefighters took him out of the townhouse, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was reported by Burket’s niece, who stopped to visit him, police said. When officers responded, they discovered fire and heavy smoke throughout the townhouse. They used several fire extinguishers to try to knock down some of the fire.

The townhouse suffered fire damage, as well as smoke, heat and water damage. It was declared uninhabitable, as was an adjoining townhouse that was also severely damaged, police said. Other adjoining townhouses suffered minor damage, and were able to be reoccupied.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen area, and does not appear to be suspicious. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Hopewell Township Police Department, the Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middlesex County Coroner’s Office.

Firefighters from Pennington Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Ewing Township and Princeton responded to the fire, along with the Pennington First Aid Squad.

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