Causes of fires at Princeton Theological Seminary, Armour Road ‘undetermined’

The cause of a fire that ripped through the Lenox House on the Princeton Theological Seminary campus on Aug. 3 is undetermined.LEA KAHN/STAFF
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The cause of a fire that ripped through the Lenox House on the Princeton Theological Seminary campus on Aug. 3 is undetermined.LEA KAHN/STAFF

The cause of a fire that ripped through the Lenox House on the Princeton Theological Seminary campus, on the corner of Stockton Street and Library Place, has been listed as “undetermined,” said Michael Yeh, the director of Princeton’s Department of Emergency & Safety Services.

“This listing will not change unless new information is received (about the Aug. 3 fire),” Yeh said.

The fire, which was reported at 5:11 a.m. Aug. 3, had already broken through the slate roof of the three-story brick house when the Princeton Fire Department arrived. It took firefighters two hours to bring the fire under control.

The fire was elevated to a two-alarm fire, and mutual aid was requested from neighboring fire departments in Lawrence, Montgomery, Hopewell, West Windsor, Plainsboro and South Brunswick townships, as well as Rocky Hill Borough and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Fire Department, according to previous reports.

The Princeton Theological Seminary is assessing the scope of the interior and roofing repairs needed to restore the landmark house, said Princeton Theological Seminary spokesman Nicole Pride.

The Lenox House, which housed the seminary’s Biblical Studies program, is now surrounded by a chain link fence. Faculty offices were located in the red brick building, which features decorative patterned brickwork and is a Princeton landmark.

Also, the cause of a fire that damaged an Armour Road home July 31 has been listed as “undetermined,” Yeh said. Its status also will not change unless new information is received, he said.

The fire, which was reported at 4:18 a.m., began in the attached garage and spread to the house. The first police officers on the scene reported that the garage was fully engulfed in flames and was spreading to the house, according to reports.

The Princeton Fire Department was aided by firefighters from neighboring fire departments in Lawrence, Montgomery, East Windsor, West Windsor and Plainsboro townships, and Rocky Hill Borough. The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Fire Department also responded.