Toms River firefighters were being praised this week for their response to a blaze at condominium complex in town that resulted in the rescue of both a woman and her pet cat.
The fire occurred June 26 at the Harbor Front Condos, 215 Washington Street, at about 5:15 p.m. Toms River Police officers arrived to find black smoke emanating from an upstairs apartment and a female covered in black soot sitting on the front step.
On scene, Officer Austin Pelka spoke with witnesses Lundyn Corbin, of South Toms River and Javier Vargas of Toms River, who said that while they were walking through the courtyard, they observed black smoke and fire coming from the apartment. They immediately entered the building and began banging on apartment doors advising the neighbors to exit. They proceeded upstairs, finding a woman standing in the doorway “confused,” a township spokeswoman said.
Both men guided the woman from her upstairs apartment outside, to the front stoop and called 911.
Crews from Toms River Fire Co. No. 1, Toms River Fire Co. No. 2, East Dover Fire Company, Silverton Fire Company, Pleasant Plains Fire Company, the Island Heights responded to fight the fire.
When they arrived, it was determined that the tenant had a cat inside the residence. The cat was not breathing when firefighters rescued it from the apartment, but they quickly administered CPR on the cat, ultimately saving its life.
The fire was ruled accidental, caused by unattended cooking. One tenant was transported to Monmouth Medical Center-Southern Campus for possible smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.
Inspector Bauer deemed the apartment uninhabitable.