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Faulty Electrical Outlet Burns Down Home in NJ

NJ – Thanksgiving Day fire at a home on Institute Street in Freehold Borough has been ruled accidental and electrical in nature by Monmouth County Fire Marshal Hank Stryker III.

Stryker said the cause of the fire appeared to be an electrical outlet on the side of the exterior porch of the home.

The home was deemed uninhabitable following the afternoon blaze. No residents, firefighters or other emergency personnel were injured at the scene.

Stryker said the family that lives in the house— a mother, father and three children — had been evacuated by the time firefighters arrived at the scene at 1 p.m.

The Thanksgiving holiday turned out not to be a day off for the firefighters who answered the call for help, but when Freehold Fire Chief Ryan Bailey was asked how firefighters react to having to leave their family on a holiday, he said, “It’s what we do.”

“We’re used to it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it is 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving or 3 a.m. on aMonday, or any other time, it’s all the same to us. You never know when that call is coming in.”

The chief said that for firefighters who have been doing this for a long time, it has become a part of their lives. Bailey said someone who is considering joining the fire department has to think about things like being called away from one’s family on a holiday.

“When you join up, you really have to ask yourself if you are an unselfish person,” he said.

All four companies from the Freehold Fire Department responded to the fire. Responders also came from the East Freehold Fire Company of Freehold Township, the Freehold Township Independent Fire Co. No. 1 and the Adelphia Fire Company of Howell.

Bailey said the fire was under control within 45 minutes. He said thick black smoke rising into the sky from the home on fire was visible for miles and came from the home’s vinyl siding burning.

“Vinyl siding is petroleum based and that is what causes the black smoke,” he said.

Story via News Transcript

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