HAMILTON, NJ -- On Wednesday evening around 10:30 pm, a Hamilton homeowner smelled something burning and then heard the alarming sound of smoke detectors. When they opened the basement doors and saw smoke, they quickly closed it, evacuated the home, and called 9-1-1.
Hamilton Township Fire Truck 17, Squad 12, including the deputy chief, and Engine 14 as well as Robbinsville Squad 40 were dispatched to the Foy Drive house fire.
The deputy chief arrived on the scene where he reported a two-story home with smoke showing. He then called an "all-hands" incident and requested the balance of the assignment bringing Hamilton Township Fire Engine 18, Truck 13, Engine 16 and Special Service 15 to the scene.
The firefighters in the multi-unit response quickly spread out to different assignments to act as soon as possible. Squad 12 and Truck 17 made entry to the home and attempted to find the basement access. Squad 40 arrived and stretched the second 1-3/4" hose to the front door to back up Squad 12.
Other crews began placing ladders on the outside and primary searches were initiated while Engines 14 and 18 arrived to backed up Squads 12 and 40. Crews made it into the basement and knocked down all visible fire. Truck 13 arrived and assisted with searches and setting up ventilation. The quick action of the group of firefighters placed the fire under control.
Meanwhile, the local fire marshal and building construction officer were both dispatched and responded to the incident. Crews from Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) arrived and secured the gas at the meter and removed the electric meter to secure the electric.
Truck 13 found and removed two guinea pigs from the home bringing them to residents, but no other people or pets were in the home. Members of the American Red Cross also responded to provide assistance to the three adults who lived there.
Because of icing in the cold temperatures, a Hamilton Township salt truck salted the area after units cleared the fire scene. The fire marshal determined that the fire was caused by a wire leading to a sump pump located in the basement.
While the fire damage was held to the basement, there is smoke damage throughout the home's first and second floor. The residence was deemed uninhabitable by the Hamilton Township building official.
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