TOMS RIVER – Authorities have determined that the intense house fire that left one man dead was accidental.
On February 16 around 3 p.m., first responders were dispatched to an active fire with a large amount of flames and smoke at Roberts Trailer Park on Roberts Road. Police said the caller believed that the homeowner was still inside and attempted to alert him.
Police tried to gain access inside, but were unsuccessful as the home was fully engulfed in flames and heavy smoke. Toms River Fire Companies responded and were able to extinguish the blaze.
While searching the home, the body of a deceased man later identified as 76-year-old Billy Kimbrough of Toms River was found.
After an extensive investigation, officials concluded that the fire originated on a mattress in the only bedroom of the home. Additionally, officials stated that smoking cannot be eliminated as the cause of the fire.
On February 18, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office performed a post mortem examination of Kimbrough and deduced that the cause of death was asphyxia due to smoke inhalation and his manner of death is accidental.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer acknowledged the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Bureau of Fire Prevention, and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their combined and cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation.