MANCHESTER – A fast moving fire caused by a lightning strike destroyed a Whiting home, killing several pets inside.
Manchester Township Police confirm the blaze at 318 Beckerville Road started shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1.
According to police, officers arrived and found the home fully engulfed in flames but the residents were not inside. Fire crews were called. From the initial investigation, it was determined that two cats, a bird and several reptiles were inside and not able to be rescued. They perished in the blaze.
Firefighters from the Whiting, Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Departments as well, firefighters from nearby Lakehurst, Joint Base, Cassville, Whitesville and Forked River Fire Departments responded to the scene and extinguished it.
Police added that EMTs from Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services also responded.
No residents were injured and the Red Cross assisted with supplies for the family and they were relocated to nearby acquaintances.
The cause of the blaze has been deemed natural as it was caused by the lightning strike when it hit the side of the home.
The fire is being investigated by Det. Adam Emmons of the department’s Investigations Bureau with the assistance of an investigator from the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office.