MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At 4:05 PM on Thursday March 12, 2015, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a “structure fire” at 10 Brandywine Way in the OLD Village section of the Township. Approximately75 firefighters from 6 companies of the Middletown Township Fire Department (Old Village, Middletown #1, Community, Belford Engine, East Keansburg Fire, and Lincroft Fire Companies), under the command of Department Deputy Chief John Gorsegner, responded to the scene.

Third Assistant Fire Chief Steven Schweizer quickly arrived on the scene and confirmed a working structure fire at that location. The entire rear potion of the two and a half story, wood framed, single family residential structure was fully engulfed in fire. Firefighters from the Old Village Fire Company immediately deployed a 2 and a half inch hose line and began attacking the large body of fire. Crews from Community Fire Company entered the front of the building and used several hand lines to aggressively attack the blaze from the interior. Middletown Fire Company deployed their aerial platform to assist with extinguishing the fire in the rear of the structure.

First Assistant Fire Chief Anthony noted that the Middletown Fire Department conducted a Command, Control and Accountability training session the prior week. Chief Citarella observed that many of the techniques and strategies that were imparted by the instructor, North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (retired), were employed while fighting the fire. According to Chief Citarella “Chief Avillo made us all keenly aware of the special hazards that today’s modern lightweight construction present to firefighters. After the initial fire was knocked down, we pull everyone out of the building and evaluated the structural integrity of the severely burnt portion. We wanted to make 100% sure that it was safe for the firefighters to work inside the building.” It was quickly determined that although some of the roof trusses had been burnt, the structure was not in danger of sudden collapse. The firefighters re-entered the house and completed putting out the fire.

The occupants evacuated the residence prior to the arrival of the fire department. The rear portion of the structure sustain heavy fire damage and there was heavy smoke and water damage throughout the building.

Chief Gorsegner declared the fire under control at 4:50 PM. The last units cleared the scene by 6:00 PM.


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Assisting on the scene were the Middletown Township Fire Department’s Air Support. The Middletown, Port Monmouth, and Lincroft Aid Squads stood by during the incident.

There were no reported injuries during the incident.

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

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...