A fire that leveled a home in Freehold is only one of several emergencies that taxed firefighters, electrical maintenance crews and water workers in three counties on one of the most bitterly cold days of 2015 to date.

A fire burns on English Way in Freehold
A fire burns on English Way in Freehold (Kevin Wagner)

In Freehold, a house fire that broke out on English Way this morning reached three alarms before 10 AM. Information from the New Jersey Operations Network indicates that the house is destroyed. There is no report of any injuries or fatalities. An investigation will ensue.

Across the Middlesex County line, the number of Jersey Central Power and Light customers without electricity has reached about 4,600, more than twice the number plunged into the cold and dark at about 8 AM.

The township's Concordia and Clearbrook Park developments were affected.

The company website gives an estimated restoration time of 3:30 PM, pushed back from an earlier estimate of 1 PM. But there's no definitive timetable, according to JCP&L's Christopher Eck.

A breaker failure in a substation might have been caused by an underground fault that crews are trying to find, Eck said. A full repair might require them to unearth the entire line, Eck said.

Monroe's Office of Emergency Management says warming centers have  been opened at the Monroe Township Library until 5pm and the Monroe Township Senior Center until 4 p.m.

And repairs for an early-morning water main break in Burlington keeps traffic crawling on busy Route 130 at High Street.

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