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Christmas Eve fire destroys duplex, leaves two families homeless

Salman Khurshed, 9, and his friends ran to the front of the house and saw flames coming from a second-story window. PHOTO BY LEA KAHN/STAFF

Two families were left homeless after a fire destroyed a duplex on Fountayne Lane in the Liberty Green development, off Lawrence Station Road, on Christmas Eve, according to published reports.

The fire, which was reported at 10:49 a.m. Dec. 24, began in the unit at 299 Fountayne Lane and spread to the adjoining unit at 301 Fountayne Lane, according to www.midjersey.news.

A boy who was playing in the backyard of his home, which was next door to the building that burned, said he and his friends saw smoke coming from the eaves of the building under the roofline.

Salman Khurshed, 9, said he and his friends ran to the front of the house and saw flames coming from a second-story window. Salman said he called 911 while his friend knocked on the door at 301 Fountayne Lane to alert the residents.

There were no reported injuries.

The first arriving firefighters reported fire and smoke coming from the second floor of the house at 299 Fountayne Lane, according to www.midjersey.news. Flames burst through the roof and spread to the other unit.

Firefighters entered the house to put out the fire, but they were ordered to evacuate after it appeared that part of the house was going to collapse. Part of the roof had already collapsed.

Firefighters continued to battle the fire from outside. They were able to enter the house again and extinguished the flames. The fire was declared under control at 11:50 a.m.

Heat from the flames melted some of the vinyl siding on a neighboring duplex building. The blue Lawrence Township-issued trash bucket also partially melted.

Firefighters from the Slackwood, Lawrence Road and Lawrenceville volunteer fire departments responded to the fire. They were assisted by firefighters from the Trenton Fire Department and Hamilton and West Windsor townships.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Lawrence Township Fire Marshal and the Lawrence Township Police Department.

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