BRICK – Township Police and firefighters responded to a three-alarm blaze at George Conway Apartments on December 12.
Responders arrived around 1:56 p.m. after a report from a resident on the third floor of George Conway Towers on Chambers Bridge Rd. The caller heard a smoke alarm sounding from a neighbor’s unit and smelled smoke. The building is a five-story apartment complex home to mostly senior citizens.
Police Sgt. Mike Feeney and Patrolman Rich Zimmerer were the to reach the burning apartment. They forced the door open but were forced back by a heavy smoke condition in the unit.
The two officers waited for the fire department to arrive. Firemen entered the apartment, discovering a resident inside and carried her to safety. Other firefighters entered and extinguished the blaze.
Breton Woods, Pioneer Hose, Laurelton and Herbertsville Fire Companies responded to fight the fire while all police officers on shift responded to help evacuate residents. Brick Township Police EMS set up triage and treatment zones.
Mutual aid from Point Pleasant Fire Department, Silverton Fire Department and Point Pleasant EMS responded to assist. Residents from the second and third floors were evacuated, 59 people in all. Residents on the first, fourth and fifth floors were advised to shelter in place as the fire was quickly controlled and extinguished.
The only injury sustained was to the resident who was rescued by firefighters. The 75-year old female was transported to Ocean Medical Center for treatment. No other injuries were reported.
Emergency units remained at the scene for approximately more than two hours before allowing the majority of residents back into the building. Fire inspectors determined that the fire started in the kitchen however the cause is still under investigation by the Brick Fire Bureau and Brick Police Detectives.
Bureau of Fire Safety Chief Kevin Batzel and Police Chief James Riccio commended the actions of all the first responders involved stating that if not for the exceptional way in which they responded and handled the incident there could have undoubtedly been many injuries or loss of life, and a greater deal of property damage.