HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Investigators from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office continued their work Tuesday afternoon at Hillsborough Gardens where an apartment fire at 43 Farm Road killed three people late Monday night.
The identities of the victims have not been released.
Jack Bennett, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, confirmed that there were three deaths and said the investigation was ongoing.
“We are awaiting autopsy results and identifications to be made by the state medical examiner,” Bennett said.
The fire was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Monday. It gutted the rear bedroom of the end unit on the second floor. Witnesses said flames extended above the roof.
Initial reports from firefighters was that one person was trapped in the bedroom, but three bodies were discovered once the fire was extinguished.
The first floor apartment below was also damaged in the fire; residents of other units in the building were evacuated safely.
Neighbors said fire alarms were going off in the building and continued until 11 p.m. when crews from Public Service Electric & Gas cut power to the building.
Firefighters had the blaze contained in little more than an hour, then spent two hours extinguishing hot spots in the walls and the attic above.
Township police cordoned off the area surrounding the building with yellow tape and kept neighbors and TV news crews several hundred feet away from the building.
A portion of the roof was buckled with charred timbers from the roof jutting above the burned out apartment; a few windows were broken, with small piles of insulation and wallboard on the ground beneath the first floor windows.
An orange "Order to Vacate" sign was taped to the door of the apartment next door.