Tenant sustains severe burns in apartment fire

By KAYLA J. MARSH Staff Writer

A tenant rescued from an April 10 blaze at an Eatontown apartment building remained in critical but stable condition this week at the Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Newark, police confirmed.

The woman rescued by firefighters was being treated for second- and third-degree burns to 80 to 90 percent of her body, according to Eatontown Police Detective Lt. Lawrence Tyler.

The multialarm structure fire at the Garrison Apartments at 3 Throckmorton Ave. caused at least 17 residents to be displaced and 10 others to seek medical treatment at local hospitals for burns and smoke-related injuries, according to Tyler.

A tenant transported to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank with chest pains remained in stable condition this week, Tyler said.

Other residents were transported for treatment of smoke inhalation.

According to Tyler, two firefighters with the Eatontown Fire Department were also injured, and both were taken to Monmouth Medical Center for smoke inhalation.

Laura Steinmetz, chief communications officer for the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, said assistance was immediately given to those affected by the blaze.

“The American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter was called at 2:20 a.m. to respond to a multiunit fire in Eatontown overnight and were on the scene to meet with the displaced families with comfort, hope and emergency assistance to address their immediate needs,” she said.

At least 15 families — with a total of 28 people — were provided emergency assistance, according to Steinmetz.

“Assistance offered included food, clothing, shoes, hygiene kits, transportation and temporary lodging,” she said.

Disaster caseworkers for the chapter have already assisted nine displaced families with hotel accommodations. Many other residents are staying with family and friends, she said. Tyler said the initial investigation showed the fire, which broke out at around 12:37 a.m., started on the third floor of the

He said a heavy smoke condition in one of the apartments on the third floor hindered responders’ ability to assist several residents in efforts to escape the building.

Members of the Eatontown Fire Department were able to rescue several residents by using a ladder and helping the victims climb out through the windows of the apartment building.

At least nine residents were transported to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank and Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for fire-related injuries, Tyler said.

One cat was confirmed to have died in the fire, and residents reported at least two other pets missing.

The blaze was contained to the third floor of the building. Several apartments and the roof of the building experienced heavy damage, Tyler said.

Departments that responded to the fire included Eatontown Fire and First Aid, Oceanport Fire Department, West Long Branch Fire and First Aid, Tinton Falls Fire Department, Shrewsbury Fire Department and Neptune Fire Department.

The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene.

The fire marshal’s office deemed the building uninhabitable.

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, a preliminary probe by the county and borough fire marshals’ offices indicated that the fire’s origin was accidental.