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UPDATE: Fatal Jackson Township Fire Ruled Accidental

By rlsmetro on
Jackson Township

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer reported that the fatal structure fire which occurred on Lehigh Boulevard in Jackson Township on Thursday has been ruled accidental.

Ocean County officials said at approximately 8:45 p.m., the Jackson Township Police Department and Jackson Township Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire with entrapment on Lehigh Boulevard.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found the structure to be fully engulfed by flames. Firefighters located the body of an 82-year-old female, later identified as Salvacion Elyea, in the residence's downstairs portion.

According to officials, she was pronounced deceased at the scene.

A second victim jumped from the second story of the residence to escape the fire and received minor injuries. A pet dog has not yet been accounted for.

According to officials, a Jackson Township Police Officer was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

A second Jackson Township Police Officer was transported to Monmouth Medical Center-Southern Campus in Lakewood, treated for minor injuries, and released.

The Ocean County Medical Examiner has determined the cause of Ms. Elyea’s death to be smoke inhalation and the manner of her death to be accidental.

A thorough and extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit- Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Jackson Township Fire Bureau, and Jackson Township Police Department, determined that the fire was caused by a kerosene heater being located in too close proximity to a combustible liquid.