School librarian — mother of 3 — dies in Toms River house fire
TOMS RIVER — A public school librarian who was the mother of three young children was identified by relatives and coworkers as a victim of a fatal house fire Friday night.
The fire erupted at 15th Street in the Silverton section and quickly spread to four neighboring houses because of high winds.
A man and three children were able to escape the home but a woman — later identified as Sara Trahey — did not come out.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said that police and firefighters made valiant efforts to save her but her body was later found in the charred structure after the fire was put out.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A Toms River police officer, who was treated at Community Medical Center for smoke inhalation, was the only other person to be injured.
The Trahey Memorial Fund GoFundMe page, which was created Saturday, said Trahey was married with three children ages 2, 7 and 9.
Lakewood schools Superintendent Laura Winters said Trahey was a media specialist working at the Ella G. Clarke School.
"Sara’s many contributions to her students and fellow staff members will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Trahey family at this very difficult time." Winters said in a statement emailed to New Jersey 101.5.
In a letter to parents, Winters said Trahey "was an outstanding Educator who cared very deeply about the success and wellbeing of each and every one of her students."
The Silver Bay Elementary PTO, an elementary school in the Silverton section, on their Facebook page remembered Trahey as someone who volunteered for many fundraising events.
The homes that caught fire are not far from the open water of Silver Bay and winds were gusting to more than 30 mph most of Friday evening, according to Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.
"That combined with the cold temperatures and dry air would make fighting any fire very difficult," Zarrow said.
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