Firefighters battled a blaze in a Bradley Beach home Sunday night at 217 McCabe Avenue,

Fire burns in the roof of a Bradley Beach home
Fire burns in the roof of a Bradley Beach home (Bud McCormick)

The fire was placed under control shortly before 8:30 p.m. according to smoke was reported coming from the third floor of the structure, containing multiple apartment units, around 7:15 p.m. Crews were ordered to temporarily evacuate due to heavy fire conditions.

The Asbury Park Press reports 12 residents were displaced by the fire which was fought by crews from Bradley Beach, Avon, Neptune City, Tinton Falls and  Neptune Township

The American Red Cross was on scene to assist victims of the fire with food, clothing, coats, transportation, hotel and other needs according to a tweet from the agency.

The fire spared the home of Bud McCormick, the director of the Jackson Memorial Band. He tells the Asbury Park Press his son Harold spotted flames and called 911 and used his own garden hose to water down his own home which was built in 1898. "Thank goodness to the quick response of the Bradley Beach Fire Company," he said, "and thank goodness it was not that windy."

McCormick related that if his family had not been there, celebrating his son BJ's 32nd birthday, there's no telling how it might have evolved.

Inhabitants inside the three-story dwelling were concentrated on the first and second floors, McCormick said, oblivious to the fire developing over their heads. The guest of honor spotted smoke on the roof and became an unsung hero.

"He went running, knocking on their door. They just didn't know," McCormick said. "He went and got them out."

Matters became more complicated when firefighters arrived, McCormick said. "They were not allowed to spray water...immediately...because they were still getting people out of the house," McCormick said, adding that they used his rear sun deck as a staging area to send water to the roof.

McCormick says some of the wood-frame structures on the block are more than a century old. "Ours is 1898. Their house was 1906," McCormick said.