Lavallette condo blaze accidental, investigators say
The Thursday-night fire that ravaged condos in Lavallette is ruled accidental, and authorities do not rule out a discarded smoke as the cause, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Borough police and firefighters who arrived at 1:21 AM found the upper story of the two-level Central Avenue complex engulfed in flames.
Authorities said that a 45-year-old man leaped from the second story to escape the extreme heat and smoke, and needed treatment at Community Medical Center in Toms River.
Seaside Heights and Seaside Park firefighters helped to tamp down the flames.
Investigators traced the point of origin to outdoor carpeting on a walkway along the exterior of the building's south side, between two units.
The investigation entailed the Prosecutor's Major Crimes/Arson Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal's Office and Sheriff's Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Lavallette Police.