A wind-driven, two-alarm fire caused by lightning resulted in substantial damage to a two-story Merion Lane home located in the Westlake section of Jackson late Saturday night, April 16. Two houses located immediately next to the home struck received minor damage from the adjacent fire. The fire occurred as a strong storm brought heavy rain and numerous lightning strikes to the area. There were no injuries sustained to firefighters or residents during the incident.
Firefighters from Jackson Fire Company Station 55 responded to the fire just prior to eleven o’clock p.m. Chief Timothy J. Carson reported on his arrival that the fire was through the roof, requesting a second alarm. Firefighters searched the home immediately after arriving to make certain that everyone was safely evacuated and began an aggressive hose-line attack to limit the damage. Assistance was provided by the Whitesville Fire Company Station 57, Jackson Mills Fire Company Station 54 and Cassville Station 56, and the Howell Township Freewood Acres Fire Company. “We had an extensive volume of fire from the original house, with a serious fire exposure problem which was a real challenge due to high winds. And, due to the fire department’s rapid application of a large volume of water, the heavy fire condition was knocked down quickly, and other than melted vinyl siding, there was no structural damage to the homes next door” stated Chief Carson. Stand-by coverage for the Jackson stations during the fire was provided by the Howell Township Southard and Lakewood Fire Departments.
The Jackson First Aid, Jackson Police Department, Jackson Fire District 3 Fire Official and Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene.