Update, 10:30 a.m., Nov. 6:
Investigators have determined that a cooking mishap was the cause of this morning's blaze at the River's Edge apartment complex in Ewing Township.
West Trenton Fire Co. Chief Ralf Brandmaier said a grease fire that started in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment rapidly intensified and spread to the apartment above and from there to the attic of the building.
He estimated that about a half-dozen apartments in the 16-unit building were damaged in some way by fire or smoke.
The resident of the apartment where the fire began was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital but was later released, he said.
Original post, 3 a.m., Nov. 6:
Volunteer firefighters from a half-dozen municipalities, including Lawrence Township, battled a two-alarm blaze that damaged several units at the River’s Edge apartment complex in Ewing Township early this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 6.
It was about 12:40 a.m. that Ewing Township’s three fire companies – West Trenton, Pennington Road and Prospect Heights – were dispatched to the blaze in Building 18 of the apartment complex on Country Lane, off River Road.
First-arriving firefighters found heavy smoke and fire visible from apartments in the middle of the two-story, 16-unit building.
A second alarm was quickly called by West Trenton Fire Co. Chief Ralf Brandmaier, summoning to the scene additional firefighters from the Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville and Slackwood fire companies of Lawrence Township; Pennington Borough Fire Co.; Union Fire Co. of Hopewell Township; DeCou Hose Co. of Hamilton Township; and Falls Township Fire Co. from Bucks County, Pa.
Ambulances from Ewing and Hopewell townships cared for the apartment building’s displaced residents, some of whom were treated for smoke inhalation. Many of the residents were taken to the West Trenton firehouse to get out of the cold until the American Red Cross could arrange temporary housing for them.
Additional support units were dispatched to the scene from Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad, East Windsor District 1 Rescue Squad, and the Signal 22 fire/police canteen service from Trenton.
Sections of the ceilings in two second-floor apartments collapsed while crews were battling the blaze, firefighters at the scene said.
The cause of the blaze – which was declared under control about 1:50 a.m. – is under investigation by Ewing Township police and fire officials and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.