SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Heavy fire and smoky conditions and a filled basement proved to be a challenge for the South Brunswick Fire Department as a blaze engulfed a residence in Monmouth Junction yesterday afternoon.
At 3:45 PM on Monday March 4th, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department was dispatched to Q10 Quincy Circle for a structure fire. Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith, Deputy Chief Sean Wert and patrol officers arrived to find heavy smoke pouring out of the front door and first floor window of the home. The one resident who was home was already outside when firefighters arrived. Officers evacuated people from the 16 other connected townhouses. The fire went to three alarms as firefighters battled to keep the fire from spreading to additional homes.
Chief Scott Smith said, “Firefighters were met with heavy fire conditions in the basement, spreading up the interior stairs when they made entry into the home. They made an aggressive attack which contained the fire to the one home. The home was filled with items in the basement which made it extremely difficult to fight.”
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A total of 15 fire trucks and over 60 firefighters responded, including firefighters from Monmouth Junction, Kingston, Kendall Park, Plainsboro, Jamesburg, North Brunswick Co. 2, & Brookview. Firefighters from Griggstown, Franklin Park, Montgomery Twp. Co. #2. Little Rocky Hill & Franklin Park covered South Brunswick fire stations during the incident. EMS units from Monmouth Junction First Aid, South Brunswick EMS and Monroe EMS responded to the scene. There were no injuries.
Chief Scott added, “This fire was particularly challenging due to the heavy smoke, high heat and fire coming up the stairs from the basement as firefighters were entering the residence. Basement fires are probably the most challenging and dangerous we can encounter. Firefighters are basically going down a chimney to reach the seat of the fire and everyone did an amazing job under very difficult conditions.”
The residents who were displaced by the fire made arrangements to stay with friends in the area. The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau, but does not appear suspicious.