ROXBURY, NJ — A fire damaged a recently-renovated home in Succasunna on Tuesday, but the quick response of Roxbury police, fire and emergency medical workers likely saved the structure and perhaps its occupants, said a neighbor.
The fire took place at the 6 Alcott Way home of Catherine and Harry DelBosco, said Alcott Way resident Craig Heard, known for his annual "Halloween House" displays. He said he happened to be across the street, talking to another person in the neighborhood, when the fire began at about 6 p.m.
Heard said he saw white smoke coming from the DelBosco's place when he glanced as another Alcott Way resident, John Mastandrea, came home. Mastandrea lives directly next to the DelBoscos.
“When I saw John pull into his driveway, I saw smoke coming out of the house," Heard said. “Then I saw John get out of his car and walk over there. I just called 9-1-1. I knew it wasn’t a barbeque. It was billowing white smoke.”
Mastandrea alerted the DelBoscos about the fire, which was in their garage area, said Heard.
Within minutes, Roxbury police were at the scene, quickly followed by an ambulance crew. Fire extinguishers were used in an attempt to suppress the flames. Shortly afterward, firefighters arrived and finished the job, Heard said.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Heard said. “I’ve got to give credit to the police, for getting there so quick, and the emergency squad and the fire department.”
It appeared the fire started in the home's electric supply box, Heard said. Jersey Central Power & Light turned off the electricity after the fire was extinguished; the DelBoscos are staying with relatives, he said.
The house stood vacant for many years before being purchased and restored by the DelBoscos several years ago.
“They purchased it and completely renovated,” Heard said. “It’s beautiful now. The whole inside was just done, and it’s beautiful. In fact, they just did the landscaping. At least the fire department got there quickly and were able to contain it.”
Heard's praise of Roxbury's first-responders came on the same night that Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo publicly lauded three Roxbury police officers for likely saving the lives of several Ledgewood residents during a March 12 fire.
Roxbury Police Sgt. Ken Rocco, Patrolman Jon Edmunds and Patrolman Nick Ponomarev had been praised by Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi for their efforts. “On behalf of the council, I would also like to commend these officers,” DeFillippo said. “It was just another reminder that Roxbury has the best and most professional police department.”
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