A Toms River Police Officer came to the aid of a homeowner who was trapped inside her burning house on Loxley Drive late Thursday evening around 11:30 pm.

Toms River Police said in a statement that Officer Rebecca Sayegh forced entry through the front door and found the homeowner in the foyer.

She had been unable to open the door and exit due to the heavy smoke in the home.

Officer Sayegh confirmed that there was no one else inside the residence and helped the homeowner, and her pets, outside and across the street to the neighbors' residence where she was evaluated by Toms River EMS.

Due to strong winds at the time, other responding officers evacuated surrounding residences.

Townsquare Media New Jersey Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said that the temperatures and winds combined last night made this a tough fire for crews on scene.

"Temperatures this morning around Toms River have been as cold as 19 degrees.  The wind chill as low as 8.  Not only does the extreme chill make it bitter, uncomfortable, and even dangerous for firefighters, but the fierce wind fans the flames.  In addition, all the water used to fight any fire would quickly freeze, creating icy conditions."

Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2, East Dover Fire Department, Silverton Fire Department, Pleasant Plains Fire Company, and Island Heights Fire Department, as well as, Brick Twp Fire and EMS Mass Care Response Team all responded to the fire.

Toms River Police Detectives Roger Hull and Travis Seaman were on scene along with Toms River Fire Inspectors Matthew Janora and Dana Mitchell.

Due to freezing temperatures, the Toms River Department of Public Works responded to the area to sand and salt the roadways to prevent hazardous road conditions.

One firefighter was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of a minor injury.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention and is believed to be accidental.

Dan Alexander and Dan Zarrow contributed to this report.

Thank you to Ocean County Scanner News for permission to use photo of house fire.


You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.


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