LBI firefighter driving by sees smoke, kicks in door to alert occupant of fire

    Creative Commons image.

    Creative Commons image.

    A quick-thinking firefighter alerted a resident of a blaze by kicking in the door of a Long Beach Island apartment.

    Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief Matt Letts was driving on Long Beach Boulevard near 86th Street in Long Beach Township shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he noticed smoke in the air, according to a fire department release. 

    That’s when he turned around, saw smoke emanating from a commercial structure containing a residential unit on the second floor, and radioed the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers, the release said.

    Knowing the unit was occupied, Letts kicked in the apartment door to alert the occupant, who was helped outside with the assistance of Long Beach Township police officers.

    Firefighters from the Surf City, Ship Bottom, and High Point responded to extinguish the attic blaze, while a Stafford unit responded to standby in the event of a firefighter rescue.

    Beach Haven EMS and the Beach Haven Fire Co. Auxiliary also responded.

    No one was injured. The cause remains under investigation.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.