By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Ocean County announced that on February 7, 2024, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Berkeley Township Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to a structure fire with possible entrapment on Berkeley Avenue.Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said that upon arrival, emergency personnel observed heavy fire coming from the front of the structure and that all three occupants were outside the structure.
Officials said two of the occupants were transported to RWJ Barnabas Community Medical Center in Toms River, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.
The third occupant was airlifted to Jefferson Health Burn Center in Philadelphia, where he is listed in critical but stable condition, officials say.
Fire Department personnel were able to extinguish the fire, and the scene was secured until daylight hours.
Authorities say an extensive and thorough examination by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, and Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office revealed that the fire originated in the southwest corner of the living room of the structure.
The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental - due to improperly discarded smoking material, according to officials.