The 10:20 p.m. fire sent the home's 90-year-old owner to the hospital for smoke inhalation. As if that wasn't bad enough, a representative for the homeowner arrived at the residence and found that it had been broken into just hours later.
By 8 a.m., the call came in to police to investigate, said Ralph Stocco, police spokesman.
The home was locked and secured by Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention at the conclusion of their initial investigation on the evening of the fire, said Stocco.
The home itself was left uninhabitable, he added.
"Someone entered the rear of the home and removed a flat screen television and jewelry," Stocco said.
Ptl. Mike Gallipoli is investigating the incident with assistance from Ptl. Carl Basile.
Fire inspectors determined the blaze to have been caused by unattended candles igniting combustible items, James Mercready, of the bureau, told Patch.