Fire marshal rules cause of Millstone Township house fire to be undetermined

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MILLSTONE – The Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled the cause of an April 11 fire that destroyed a home on Arrowhead Way in Millstone Township to be undetermined.

On June 27, Christopher Swendeman, public information officer for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, said the fire marshal “ruled the fire ‘undetermined’ with the origin being in or near (a) Tesla, which was one of two vehicles parked in the garage.”

A Tesla is an electric car which must be charged in order to operate.

“The Tesla was being charged in the garage at the time the homeowners heard a noise from the garage. The homeowners then checked the garage and discovered the fire and called 911. The prosecutor’s office has closed its investigation,” Swendeman said.

A spokesman from Tesla told the Examiner the company had no comment regarding the fire.

Arrowhead Way is off Bergen Mills Road on the north side of Route 33. The Millstone Township Fire Company was dispatched to the home at 8:47 p.m. April 11 after receiving a report of a fire in the garage. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters determined the entire home was involved in the fire.

Dave Markunas, chairman of the Millstone Township Board of Fire Commissioners, previously said the homeowners were in the residence when the fire occurred. He said neither individual was injured. The homeowners’ names were not released.

Using hose lines and a fire ladder from Monroe Township Fire District No. 2, which also responded to the scene, firefighters fought the fire from outside the home before entering the residence. Once the heavy fire was suppressed, firefighters were able to enter the residence and complete the suppression of the fire. At 10:14 p.m., the fire was deemed to be under control, according to the fire commissioners.

Water was delivered to the scene by tanker trucks because Millstone does not have a municipal hydrant system.

Damage to the home was deemed substantial and, according to Markunas, the house is uninhabitable. Swendeman said the damage included the total loss of the roof and a partial collapse of the structure.