Firefighters doused the flames that engulfed the lower portion of a Central Avenue home Wednesday in about a half hour, but the blaze displaced a township family.
Fire Marshall Kevin Batzel said the residents of 499 Central Avenue, located in the township's Cedarwood Park neighborhood, reported a smoke condition around 1:30 a.m., but upon arrival firefighters encountered a fire in the basement of the home and called for extra equipment and support.
Heavy flame damage occurred in the home's finished basement, and smoke and water damage on the first and second floors made the home uninhabitable when all was said and done, Batzel said.
The cause of the fire is suspected to be a discarded smoking device, perhaps a cigarette, in the basement.
The home had smoke detectors, though the batteries inside them were dead.
"The occupants were very lucky that they were able to get out of the house," Batzel said, reminding residents to check their own home's detectors on a regular basis. "Fortunately, no one was injured."
The occupants, a mother and her young son, have relocated, Batzel said.
The Breton Woods fire company led the response with help from the Laurelton station and Pioneer Hose station. Firefighters from the Silverton and Mantoloking stations, in Toms River and Mantoloking, respectfully, also provided support.