Five out of the six firefighters injured in a fatal Monday evening blaze in South Toms River have been released from an area hospital, according to a posting on a local fire department’s Facebook page.
The early Tuesday morning posting on the Manitou Park Volunteer Fire Company (Station 18) page said that three of the four firefighters from its company, one firefighter from Toms River Fire Company #2 (Station 26), and an Ocean County Fire Coordinator were released from Community Medical Center in Toms River, while the remaining firefighter from its company was kept overnight “as a precaution for observations.”
All suffered minor injuries, officials said.
The fire broke out before 6:00 p.m. in a single-family house on South Main Street in Toms River, according to a report on Jersey Shore Hurricane News.
Ocean County Chief Fire Coordinator Brian Gabriel told The Star-Ledger that firefighters acted swiftly upon arrival.
From The Star-Ledger report:
Told someone appeared to be trapped, firefighters made an “aggressive entry,” rushing into the burning basement, Gabriel said. There they were met by thick smoke and walls of flame.
“The fire department did the absolute best they could in really, really, really difficult conditions,” Gabriel said. “We had heavy heat and smoke and fire. We had flashover conditions, which forced them completely out of the building. The conditions were untenable.”
After attacking the fire from the exterior, firefighters again went into the house, fully extinguishing the flames by about 7:30 p.m.
Capt. Jack Sramaty of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed one of the home’s occupants was killed. The victim’s identity, age and gender were not immediately released.
The fire remains under investigation.