Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on Friday, February 7, the Toms River Township Police and multiple fire departments responded to a residence in the Silverton section of Toms River, for a report of a structure fire.
Upon the arrival of emergency personnel, the structure was fully engulfed with the fire spreading into the four surrounding residences. Emergency service personnel determined that the structure was occupied by two adults and three children at the time of the fire. It was further determined that a male and three children evacuated the residence, however one female remained inside. Rescue efforts were attempted by police and fire personnel, but were unsuccessful. After the fire was extinguished, a female body was discovered inside the residence.
A Toms River Township Police Officer was transported to Community Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation.
“This is an ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau and Ocean County Sherriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit. We are not releasing the name of deceased until proper notifications are made. This is a sad day for everyone involved,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
The Lakewood School District released the following statement:
It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart that I announce the sudden and tragic passing of Sara Trahey, Media Specialist, at the Ella G. Clarke School, in a house fire, on Friday, February 7, 2020.
Sara was the loving wife of Jeff, and the mother of three beautiful children ages, 2, 7 and 9.
Mrs. Trahey made a significant impact on our school community, and will be greatly missed.
Our crisis team has mobilized to respond to this tragic event, in order to effectively assist all members of our school community.
An emergency staff meeting will be held at 7:30 a.m. in the Library of the Ella G. Clarke School on Monday, February 10, 2020. At that time, the crisis team will provide further details and answer questions. They will also discuss how to present the information to students.
Crisis Counselors will be available for students and staff on Monday, February 10, 2020, and throughout the week, as needed.
Please refer any student who appears to be in crisis or having significant difficulty to Oscar Orellana at (732) 905-3500 extension 7450.
As this tragedy has also affected staff members, you are encouraged to seek assistance from a Crisis Counselors, or speak to your LEA representative, should you need additional Counseling.
Please keep the Trahey family in your thoughts and prayers!
(The Trahey family lost everything in the fire. Donations will be collected shortly in order to assist the family.)
Laura A. Winters
Chief School Administrator