Fire investigators set about pinpointing the cause of the Monday predawn blaze that raced through four apartments and sent a tenant and three firefighters to hospitals.

Herbertsville Fire Company (Photo submitted by Jim Scott)

The Brick Gardens on Hooper Avenue was the site of the fire that broke out on the second floor of Building 12. Police officers, first to arrive at about 2:00 AM, saw smoke billowing from windows and flames inside.

The tenant, who was treated for smoke inhalation at Ocean Medical Center, had told 911 operators that he was awakened by a smoke alarm, and spotted flames behind his living-room television, at which point he left the apartment.

Firefighters and police evacuated everyone in Building 12. Crews trained hoses on the fire and broke through the roof to quell the flames, and declared it under control by 3 AM.

Quick work by firefighters and a fire separation wall prevented the blaze from spreading to more units, police said.

Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries at Ocean Medical Center, police said.

Members of Pioneer Hose Company, Breton Woods Fire Company, Laurelton Fire Company, and Herbertsville Fire Company pooled their efforts against the fire.

Brick PD Patrolmen Dinnebeil, McGrath, Stephenson, and Thergesen were first on the scene.

Brick Township Emergency Medical Services were assisted by EMS teams from Howell, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach and South Toms River.

The investigation is being conducted by Brick Township PD Detectives Sternberg and Lash, the Brick Township Fire Safety Bureau and the Ocean County Sheriff's Office.

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