Update: Photos of the structure fire in progress are now available credit to Station 56.
On Friday, June 13 at 17:48 hours Station 55 (Jackson) and 54 (Jackson Mills) were dispatched by Ocean County Fire for a report of a deck fire, possible structure at an 8-family apartment/condo unit at the Willow Point Complex off East Commodore Boulevard in Jackson Mills’ district. First arriving Chief 5400 Mike Lubertazzi reported a working structure with heavy fire in the attic and upper second floor area of the A/D Sections. Chief 5500 Chip Smith arrived next and assisted Chief 5400 with Incident Command. Engine 5521 was first due with arrival orders to open with a deck gun attack into the attic.
Multiple handlines were later deployed with an initial interior attack from 5521 by FF Jonathan Gaul and FF Scott Jordan and 5411’s crews –with water supply to Ladder 5405’s ladder pipe following during a defensive attack due to the structural condition of the roof. Additional units and crews involved on the fireground attack included Ladder 5505, Engine 5411, Ladder Tower 5605, Freewood Acres Tower Ladder, and Rescue 5503. The roof of the A/D Section collapsed approximately 17-20 minutes after the initial call.
The residents in the units fortunately smelled smoke and did evacuate as the fire department arrived. The building had a residential sprinkler system but it did not cover the attic. The entire building suffered extensive damage predominately from the roof failure and resultant fire extension into the remainder of the attic over the rest of the building. Two Jackson Mills firefighters sustained minor injuries and were transported to Centra State Hospital.
Mutual aid companies called to the scene included Jackson Stations 56 (Cassville), 57 (Whitesville), Millstone Station 32, Monmouth County Freewood Acres Station 19-5 for their Tower, and Freehold Twp. Station 16-1 for a FAST stand-by on the fireground.