Three occupants of a Wall Township home where fire broke out overnight are treated for smoke exposure. Meanwhile, Middletown fire officials say that flames might not have damaged a house as extensively as they did if the resident had called 911 more quickly.

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Precautionary hospital care for Wall Township victims

Police in Wall say that the house in Evans Road was already in progress when first-responders arrived at about 1:29 AM today. Firefighters from the Glendola, West Belmar and South Wall Fire Departments quelled the flames by about 2:39 AM.

Three house guests were given precautionary treatment for smoke exposure at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

Police did not indicate the extent of damage, but said that they are tracing the origin and source, aided by Wall Township Fire Prevention and the Monmouth County Fire Marshall.

Extinguishers not enough in Middletown

The resident inside a Middletown house where flames spread Monday morning called 911 after efforts to tamp down the fire failed, according to fire officials, who added that no injuries resulted.

The township fire department, notified by a home monitoring system at 7:15 AM on January 9, raced to Lakeshore Drive in the River Plaza section.

On arrival, firefighters reportedly learned that the resident initially discovered smoke, and exhausted several extinguishers before calling for emergency aid and leaving the dwelling.

Firefighters found fire behind a wall, breaking through walls on the first and second floors and attacking the flames with two 1 3/4-inch lines and bringing the blaze under control in about a half-hour.

They used thermal imaging cameras to pinpoint hot spots, and said that smoke and heat damage permeated the entire structure.

According to fire investigators, the house is characterized by balloon frame construction, which can allow a fire to climb from basements to attics behind walls, usually requiring destruction of the walls to reach the core.

Middletown fire officials issue a reminder that 911 should be called immediately if a fire is suspected, cautioning that unattended fires can double in size every 30 seconds.

The fire drew more than two dozen members of Middletown Fire Company 1, Navesink, River Plaza and Lincroft departments.

Red Bank firefighters, Middletown Township Fire Department air unit and township emergency medical technicians were also summoned under direction of MTFD Chief Anthony Citerella.

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