Raging house fire takes life of Toms River woman
A Toms River woman is dead, trapped in the flames of a Valentine's Day fire that roared through a house in the township.
Township police did not disclose the identity of the 64-year-old victim who didn't escape the flames and thick black smoke at 1911 Fiddlers Run, nor the 67-year-old man who suffered burns in a futile attempt to reach her.
A source with knowledge of the incident believes that the survivor and victim were married.
Investigators also say one of the firefighters on scene was also injured during the rescue mission suffering burns to his neck and ear.
Police, fire and EMS crews were summoned at 11:03 Tuesday morning, finding thick, dark smoke. Witnesses reported that the woman was still inside.
Officers Scott Fallano and Raymond Beyerle attempted to access the house through the front entrance and were repelled by the smoke, authorities said.
They encountered the man who managed to escape as he tried to re-enter, while flames began to engulf the house. He sustained burns to his hands as the officers moved him away from the building.
The cause is under investigation by Toms River Detective Roger Hull, and by members of the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention, Ocean County Sheriff's Crime Scene Investigation unit, and the County Prosecutor's Arson Unit.
Volunteer firefighters of the Pleasant Plains, Silverton, East Dover, Toms River Numbers 1 and 2, Island Heights, and Manchester departments responded.