MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At 1:54 AM on Sunday March 11, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to 172 Heights Terrace for a report of smoke coming out of the wall of a house at that location. The first arriving Police unit discovered that the back wall of the house was on fire and attempted to control the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Approximately 25 firefighters from the Old Village and Middletown Fire Companies had the fire under in 15 minutes. The house sustained minor fire and smoke damage.
One Firefighter sustained a minor injury and was transported to Riverview Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Less than 12 hours later, at 2:35 PM, the Middletown Township Fire Department was alerted to a heavy smoke condition in the area of 113 Holland Road. First arriving units, under the initial command of 2nd Assistant Chief Rick Hibell, encountered a large volume of smoke coming from the eaves of a house at 113 Holland Road. Upon investigation, it was discovered that there was a fire burning out of control in the chimney. The masonry chimney had failed in several places allowing smoke and embers to enter the voids in the walls and the attic area. It took approximately 35 members from the Old Village, Middletown, River Plaza, East Keansburg and Community fire companies 90 minutes to completely extinguish the stubborn fire. The damage was limited to the area around the chimney and the roof.
There were no reported injuries at the second fire.
Middletown Township Chief Andrew Spears was in command of the two incidents. Chief Spears noted that “smoke detectors alert the residents in both houses and allowed them to safely evacuate themselves”. He added that “these fires underscore the importance of making sure that every residence has working smoke detectors. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity of the switch to Day Light Savings Time to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon dioxide detectors”.
The cause both fires is being investigated by the Middletown Township Fire Prevention Bureau.