Fire officials this afternoon released the cause of the fire that left a Toms River home destroyed.
On Thursday, a fire occurred at a home located on 73 East Rolling Hills Court in Toms River. The initial call came from a neighbor, who reported seeing flames and smoke coming from the garage.
When fire crews arrived, the garage was fully engulfed and there were reports of a woman trapped inside the home. Neighbor Joe Mahon along with Tim Dalton, Joe Hayward, Dave Gretkowski, three Toms River Township employees from Public Lands who were working in the area, Toms River CSO Elmoh Kandil, and Police Officer Andrew Gannon were able to coach the woman to follow their voices to a first floor window of the house, where she was able to escape. She suffered minor burns. There were no injuries reported to civilians or firefighters.
The fire was extinguished by 12:30 pm. Fire crews from Station 25 Toms River Fire Co. 1, Station 26 Toms River Fire Co. #2, Station 28 East Dover Fire Company, Station 29 Silverton Fire Company, Station 30 Pleasant Plains Fire Company, and Station 53 Island Heights responded to fight the fire.
The fire investigation was conducted by Richard Foster, Kyle Gervasio, Dana Mitchell and Kevin Britton from the Toms River Fire Bureau, Travis Seaman from the Toms River Police Department, and Tom Haskell, John Doran and Chris Bonner from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. It was determined that the cause of the fire was accidental with ordinary combustibles placed too close to a space heater.
The Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention would like to remind all residents about the safe use of space heaters:
- Use only appliances that cut off automatically if tipped over.
- Use only models that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing agency (UL or Factory Mutual).
- Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters.
- If using an electric model, make sure the cord is not frayed or worn. Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
- Keep children and pets away from portable heaters. It only takes a second for curiosity to lead to a serious burn.
- Turn heaters off when you leave home or go to bed.