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Fire officials: ‘Old charcoals’ from barbecue night before may have caused fire at residential house in South Brunswick

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Old charcoals from a barbecue the night before may have caused a fire at a four-unit residential house on Samuel Court, according to fire officials.

Once firefighters arrived on scene, they were able to contain the fire within approximately 20 minutes, according to Deputy Police Chief James Ryan of the South Brunswick Police Department.

The Monmouth Junction Fire Department and South Brunswick police were dispatched to the residential unit at 8:44 a.m. on July 5.

Police officers, who arrived within minutes, observed smoke coming from the roofline and immediately started evacuating residents, according to police.

Fire Chief Scott Smith of the Monmouth Junction Fire Department immediately requested the first alarm, bringing members of the Kingston and Kendall Park fire departments to the scene to assist.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes, but remained on location until 10:30 a.m. extinguishing hot spots, according to police.

“This was a challenging fire as we had to use saws and hand tools to open the decking of the second-floor balcony, as well as the walls and ceiling of the unit below the balcony in order to expose and extinguish the fire, which must have been smoldering unnoticed for some time. We are fortunate that the fire was relatively contained and discovered during the day, and not when residents were sleeping,” Smith said.

Six fire trucks and 30 firefighters responded to the fire. South Brunswick Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded. No injuries were reported, police said.

The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau.

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