ROXBURY, NJ – People in the area, including members of the Roxbury Rotary Club, are chipping-in to help those displaced last week by a house fire in Ledgewood, an incident that nearly claimed several lives.

The March 12 fire was mentioned in a statement by Roxbury Police in which Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi praised three officers for likely saving the lives of two people at the scene.

The fire took place at a multi-family structure at 1933 Route 46, near the Netcong border, said Roxbury Fire Inspector Michael Pellek. He said the 11:20 p.m. incident was caused by a “culinary mishap” in one of the building's lower apartments.

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Firefighters responded quickly – with Netcong Fire Department reaching the scene first – and damage to the structure was minor, Pellek said.

Nevertheless, the incident has temporarily displaced to hotel rooms the occupants, including 2016 Roxbury High School graduate Nasear Robinson, 23, his mother and three younger siblings.

TV Was Flickering

Robinson, on Tuesday, created an online GoFundMe page in which he sought $1,000. By Wednesday, the page had secured more than $7,000 in donations. “It's insane,” said Robinson in an interview, referring to the community's generosity. “I'm literally speechless. It's crazy.”

Robinson, who just started a company called R&D Landscaping, said he is happy that he and the other occupants' did not lose their belongings. He also praised the police and firefighters for their efforts, noting that none of the building's smoke alarms worked.

“My room is up in what's considered the attic,” Robinson said. "At the time, I had no idea what was going on. My TV was flickering, and I headed downstairs to see who was messing with the breaker.”

Members of the Roxbury Rotary Club donated money to help Robinson, said club member Steve Alford, whose daughter graduated with Robinson. “I set him up with an account under the Rotary Club name at Roxbury Diner,” Alford said. “I told him we want you to eat at the diner three nights a week for the next four weeks.”

He said the Rotarians who helped set up the diner account are himself, Gary Ribe, Don Miller, Kyle Kramer, Don Schuld, John Shepherd, Lynette DeLisa, Carlos Rosario, Bill Diamond, Scott Fullerton, Sam Maddali, Sam Safarez, Ted Dunne and Toni Pagano.

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