mtfd dike brush fire 1

mtfd dike brush fire 1Photos courtesy of MTFD Photographer Laurie Kegley.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At 3:24 PM on Wednesday April 1, 2015, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a “brush fire across from 81 Raynor Avenue” in the East Keansburg section of the Township.

Approximately 65 firefighters from 8 companies of the Middletown Township Fire Department (Navesink, Brevent Park, Belford Engine, Community, East Keansburg, Port Monmouth, Belford Independent and Lincroft Fire Companies), under the command of Department Deputy Chief John Gorsegner, responded to the scene.

First Assistant Fire Chief Anthony Citarella assumed initial command of the incident upon his arrival. Chief Citarella quickly called for additional fire department brush fire units to combat the wind driven blaze in the mash between Pews creek and Raynor Avenue. Fire Department units were deployed to the area of Gordon Court Park in Port Monmouth in case the fire moved in that direction.

mtfd dike brush fire 2


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The firefighters needed to use multiple hand lines that stretched several hundred feet each into the swampy area to gain access to the fires. The wind shifted several times during the incident which caused the firefighters to reposition their efforts. Eight off-road brush trucks converged on the scene in order bring personnel and equipment to the remote area.

There was no damage to structures or property. Several acres of brush were eventually consumed by the blaze.

Chief Gorsegner declared the fire under control at 5:00 PM. The last units cleared the scene by 5:45 PM.

Assisting on the scene were the Middletown and Port Monmouth Aid Squads. Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

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...