On Thursday May 3rd, 2018 at approximately 11:36am Fire District #3 was dispatched to 48 Hillcrest Avenue, for a working structure fire. This incident was called in by a off duty firefighter from Somerset Fire and Rescue, who was in the area at the time and saw smoke coming from the house.
Asst. Chief 25 arrived and established command, confirming a working fire. He reported all occupants were out, but a dog still remained unaccounted for. A 2nd Alarm was struck by command, bringing in Mutual Aid to the scene and for station coverage.
Squad 27 was the first due apparatus and the crew stretched a 1 3/4 attack line into the structure, in an effort to locate the seat of the fire and search for the dog. Ladder 25 arrived and assisted with a 2nd attack line, backing up the Squad’s Crew. Chief 27 arrived and assumed command, while Asst. Chief 25 took operations.
Interior conditions deteriorated quickly and the first floor flashed over, compromising the stairs and forcing an evacuation. All crews were accounted for quickly and went back to working on extinguishing the fire, with the assistance of Deputy 27 and crews from Ladder 27, Engine 27 and Engine 253.
Mutual Aid from North Brunswick and New Brunswick arrived on the scene, at which point crews continued to work on the fire that was now involving the 1st and 2nd floors. After crews vigorously worked utilizing 3 attack lines, the fire was placed under control at approximately 12:39pm.
Salvage and Overhaul took place utilizing the crew from Air 27 and additional staffing on scene. The fire was completely extinguished at 1:56pm. The incident was turned over to Franklin Twp. Fire Prevention.
One FF sustained smoke inhalation and was transported for further treatment by RWJUH EMS. The dog unfortunately passed away despite multiple attempts that the crews gave to locate it. The East Franklin Fire Department extends our condolences to the family.
Additional companies on the scene were Somerset Fire and Rescue who stood by as our RIT, PSEG, RWJUH EMS, Franklin PD and Somerset County Fire Coordinators. Kendall Park and South Bound Brook covered Fire District #3 from our respective stations. Thank you to all those who responded and we hope the family is able to recuperate from this tragedy.