Island Beach Rum Distillery owner injured in Saturday fire
A rum distillery tank exploded Saturday around 2 pm causing a fire that injured the owner, 38-year old Peter Martorelli.
The distillery, located at 713 Old Shore Road in the Forked River section of Lacey Township needed two fire crews to help oust the flames.
Martorelli who lives in Forked River, was conscious and alert after sustaining multiple burns to the lower half of his body and was transported to Saint Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston, New Jersey.
In a post on the distillery Facebook page Saturday night Martorelli said the business will close for a few weeks until repairs can be made.
"Hello everyone, it's sad to say that the distillery will be closed for a few weeks. We had an accident and a small fire. The first responders were able to come in and take care of the situation before it got out of control. I am very greatfull to them.
My wife is fine, just a little shaken. I on the other hand have some burns and I'm being treated at St. Barnabus Hospital in Livingston.
I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this trying time.
We will be back and open as soon as we are able.
Thank you again, for the love & support.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!"
The fire remains under investigation as authorities trace the circumstances.
The distillery opened up in August of this year after Martorelli turned a chapter in his career to bring the first distillery to Ocean County featuring Caribbean style rum that's 80-proof.
The Forked River Fire Department with the assistance of the Lanoka Harbor Fire Department responded and extinguished the blaze.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Sheriff’s CSI Unit assisted in the investigation.
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