A house on Arcadia Avenue, off Rolfe Avenue in the Eldridge Park section of Lawrence Township, was damaged by a fire that broke out this evening (Tuesday, Dec. 4) while the residents were not at home, township fire and police officials said.
The blaze started in the area of the home’s heater, located in an attic crawlspace on the second floor of the home, according to police Sgt. Tim Drew.
While residents reported having an electrical problem with the heater earlier in the day, the precise cause of the fire remains under investigation by Lawrence Township Fire Marshal Dale Robbins, along with Detective Kevin Reading Jr. and Officer Robert Loveless from the police department, officials said.
Drew said residents called 911 at 6:35 p.m. after they returned home and found the fire.
“The residents came home to find so much smoke they couldn’t enter the residence,” said Lawrence Road Volunteer Fire Co. Capt. Ryan Dlabik.
Volunteer firefighters from the township’s three fire companies – Lawrence Road, Slackwood, and Lawrenceville – fought the fire with the assistance of the Pennington Road Volunteer Fire Co. from Ewing Township.
“Upon arrival, we had smoke blanketing the street,” Dlabik said. “We made entry to the first floor. We had a moderate smoke condition throughout the whole first floor. Crews made access to the second-floor stairwell and encountered a lot of smoke and a lot of heat.
“We advanced a hoseline upstairs and tried to locate the source of the fire. We had some trouble due to the heavy smoke condition. We finally located an access for the attic crawlspace. Once we opened that door, we located the fire and extinguished it. The cause is still under investigation at this time,” he said.
Some windows were broken and a ventilation hole was cut in the roof over where the heater was located to release trapped smoke and heat to make conditions safer for firefighters working on the inside of burning home.
The blaze was brought under control within a half-hour. While actual fire damage was contained to the attic crawlspace, the entire house sustained smoke damage, officials said, noting that the homeowner and their daughter would have to stay elsewhere until repairs are made.
Firefighting operations were directed by Slackwood Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Michael Oakley.
A Lawrence Township ambulance crew stood by on the scene but there were no injuries reported.
- Nov. 30: “Fire at Lawrence Shopping Center Quickly Doused”
- Nov. 29: “Fire Damages Vehicle, Home on Business Route 1”
- Nov. 28: “”