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UPDATE: 'Suspicious' Fire Guts House Near Route 37, Police Say

Police say they're investigating a "suspicious" fire that gutted a house at 499 Lakehurst Rd., near Route 37, early Saturday.

There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident, police said.

At 1:16 am The Toms River Police Department Dispatch Center received a call from a passing motorist that there was a home on fire.  Police spokesman Ralph Stocco said units responded to 499 Lakehurst Road to find flames shooting out from the front porch area of the home.

As they approached the residence, they located an open side door. However, the fire was already out-of-control and the officers were driven back, police said.

Toms River Fire Companies #1 and #2 as well as East Dover Fire Company responded to battle the blaze.  At 2:12 am the fire was determined to be under control.

A search of the home determined that it was vacant at the time of the fire.  Stocco said the investigation led police to believe that the fire is suspicious and that the residence has been vacant for quite some time.

Investigator Kevin Esposito of the Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau as well as the Toms River Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau are continuing the investigation. The initial police response to the blaze was by Ptl. William Hutton and Ptl. Walter J. Herman of the Toms River Police Department Patrol Division. 

John Cobb February 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM
When FD's see something like this, just standby and let it burn down. Hose down the embers and leave it for the salvage crew to load in dumpsters. An eyesore building taken down and ready for some new construction. Maybe another Dr's office to handle some of the newly health insured citizens.
WMS826 February 15, 2014 at 02:59 PM
I agree...the only way we get rid of crappy buildings is through a storm like Sandy which can be a real great opportunity to build new modern stuff and increase the values of everyones property in doing so.
Keeping whats mine February 16, 2014 at 09:12 AM
a crack house gone

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