HAMILTON, NJ -- Hamilton Township firefighters battled four house fires within a 24-hour time period from early morning Sunday through early Monday morning, including two overnight fires that sent six residents and a firefighter to the hospital. Two of the fires were determined to be caused by "carelessly discarded cigarettes."
The strenuous 24-hours for the firefighters began early Sunday morning around 7:00 am when crews were dispatched to a home on Miller Avenue. Upon arrival Engines 18 and 14 and Truck 13 found smoke coming from an apartment. An "all hands" call was then transmitted bringing Squad 12, Engine 16 and Truck 17 to contain the fire to one apartment unit. One person was removed safely from the home.
Late Sunday evening, fire crews were called to an active fire at a two and a half story home on the 1700 block of South Broad Street. Seven individuals were displaced by the fire which was quickly brought under control.
There was extensive fire damage to the third floor of the home with water damage to all three floors. The cause of the fire was determined to be a "carelessly discarded cigarette."
At 2:00 a.m Monday fire crews were back in action at an end unit row home along the 100 block of Durand Avenue. Upon arrival, firefighters fought back a basement fire that caused extensive smoke and water damage to all three stories of the home.
The six occupants of the home, who were all asleep when the fire broke out, were taken to the local hospital as a result of smoke inhalation. One firefighter was brought to the hospital for treatment of a shoulder injury and released.
Sources say there were no working smoke detectors at the Durand Avenue home. The fire is under investigation by the Hamilton Fire Marshall, Hamilton Police Department, and the Mercer County Prosecutor's office.
In one more response during their shift, Hamilton firefighters from Engines 15, 16 and 19 and Truck 13 responded to another house fire this time on Brafman Drive. A "carelessly discarded cigarette" also caused this early morning blaze but did not result in damage to the home.
Hamilton Fire Chief John Ratalis from Fire Company Number 7, who commanded the three responses on Sunday evening and into Monday morning, urged people to use these incidents as a warning to "install and check working smoke detectors and properly discard of smoking material."
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