Police & Fire

South Brunswick Police Confirm Fire Victim’s Identity


SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police confirmed Monday that the dead man found after a fire at 27 Deerberry Lane was resident John Doran, 59.

According to Wynwood Estates Property Manager Jennifer VanGorden, Doran lived in the condo with his older sister, Zo-Anne Abbott, for more than 20 years, and the pair were original owners of the unit.

Fire swept through the first floor of the two-bedroom unit Friday afternoon.

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A resident of an adjacent unit called police around 2:45 p.m. reporting an odor of smoke “like burning plastic,” Kendall Park Fire Chief Chris Perez said at the scene Friday.

Perez said that there was no immediate signs of fire when he arrived with police, but carbon monoxide detectors registered “dangerous levels” in the upper floor of a unit in Building 2.

Perez and firefighters then did a check of the entire building and found the windows of unit 27 blacked out from the inside and observed a “wisp” of smoke coming from the sliding glass door of the unit, indicating a fire.

Firefighters made entry into the unit and were able to knock down the fire in the kitchen and living room area “in a matter of minutes,” Perez said.

It was then that firefighters found the body of Doran in the area of the fire, Perez said.

The Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Doran, but the official cause of death is pending additional tests, police said Monday.

According to police, Doran had a number of medical conditions and had only limited mobility.

His sister was in the hospital recovering from a surgery at the time of the fire, VanGorden said.

Fire investigators believe the cause of the blaze to be accidental, police said.

Several units in the building had to be ventilated due to high carbon monoxide levels, but the main damage from the fire was contained to the one unit, police said.

Residents in the other units were evacuated and allowed to return around 7 p.m., police said.

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