mtd 54 friendship court 2

mtd 54 friendship court 2Heavy smoke conditions at Friendship Court home, River Plaza section of Middletown Township.  Credit: Middletown Township Fire Department PIO Photographer Laurie Kegley

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At 7:19 pm on Saturday December 15, 2018 the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire with smoke issuing from the structure and possible entrapment at 54 Friendship Court in the River Plaza section of the Township.

Upon arrival, Chief Ryan Clarke reported smoke issuing from the structure. The initial dispatch reported one occupant unaccounted for, Chief Clarke with the assistance of the MTPD ensured all occupants were out of the building and the adjacent occupants were evacuated. Chief Clarke ordered first arriving units to stretch a line to the front door right off.  Simultaneously, the structured was laddered for ventilation of smoke and flame as well as a secondary means of egress for firefighters.  800’ of 5” Large Diameter Hose (LDH) was deployed from the (2) nearest hydrant which delivered water to scene.  Positive pressure ventilation was employed to make the interior safer to work in and help expose hot spots.  Thermal imaging cameras were used to ensure all fire was found and extinguished.  The structure sustained heavy fire and smoke damage throughout.  The buildings utilities were secured by New Jersey Natural Gas and Jersey Central Power and Light.

mtd 54 friendship court 1The fire was called under control by Chief Ryan Clarke at 7:50 p.m.  All units were cleared from the scene at 9:17 p.m.


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Approximately 60 members from 5 companies of the Middletown Township Fire Department responded to the call from River Plaza Hose Company, Middletown Township Fire, Lincroft Fire Company, Belford Independent Fire Company, and Community Fire Company of Leonardo. The MTFD Air Unit, and the Safety Unit responded.

No firefighter injuries were reported while operating at the scene. However a pet was found during the search of the building, despite the efforts of members on scene to resuscitate the pet with specialized pets mask (donated by the Canine Company earlier in 2018) the pet did not survive.

Ten Emergency Medical Service members from Lincroft, Fairview and Leonardo First Aid provided firefighter rehabilitation and medical services.  The EMS treated the two residents for smoke inhalation and transported the victims to Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center.

All units operated safely under the supervision of Middletown Township Fire Department Chief Ryan Clarke.

The fire is being investigated by the Middletown Township Fire Marshall’s 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...