Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said today that the Toms River fire which displaced multiple families has been ruled accidental.
A thorough and extensive investigation determined that the fire originated on an exterior third floor balcony, and that improperly discarded smoking material cannot be eliminated as the cause of the fire. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office-Arson Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Fire Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit all partook in the investigation.
The fire was reported at the Fairways at Bey Lea Apartment Complex on Inverness Drive in Toms River at about 1:30pm on July 15.
Upon the arrival of emergency personnel, heavy smoke and fire were observed coming from the structure’s roofing system. The building was evacuated without incident. During the suppression of the fire, two firefighters, an emergency medical technician, and a resident sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
“I’d like to thank all the emergency service personnel that responded to this structure fire. We had fire companies from all over Ocean County respond and assist in the suppression of this fire. My sincere thanks to all the first responders who worked so tirelessly under the most extreme heat conditions. I am extremely grateful that no one was seriously injured,” Billhimer said in a statement.