PHOTO: Firefighters battle a blaze at 348 Hillside Avenue in Navesink.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ - At 8:10 PM on Friday February 26, 2016, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a chimney fire at 348 Hillside Avenue in the Navesink section of Middletown Township. Approximately 60 firefighters from 5 stations of the Middletown Township Fire Department (Navesink, Brevent Park and Leonardo, Community, Belford Engine and Belford Independent Companies), under the command of Department Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Citaralla responded to the scene.

The first arriving fire units encountered heavy smoke condition emanating from the structure of the approximately two hundred year old two story structure. Complicating the incident, the house is set back approximately 300 feet uphill from Hillside Avenue. Firefighters quickly advanced a Mansion Line (a 300 foot supply line that splits into two 1 ¾ hand lines) and hand tools to pull the plaster walls on the first and second floors preventing extension to the attic of the colonial style structure with full dimensional lumber. The fire was quickly contained and efforts were then concentrating on quickly removing the smoke from the structure and performing salvage and overhaul activities that minimized water and smoke damage to the structure and its contents. The firefighters ensured the fire was contained with the use of Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) to detect any fire extension behind the walls. The firefighters used a series of fans to ventilate the toxic smoke from the structure

Chief Citaralla declared the fire under control at 8:35 PM. The last units cleared the scene by 9:49 PM.

Assisting on the scene were the Middletown Township Fire Department’s Air Support Unit. The Fairview First Aid Squad was on location and stood by to provide EMS support during the incident.

The fire is being investigated by the Middletown Township Fire Prevention office.