Toms River fire officials have ruled the major fire that broke out in several downtown businesses last Friday to be accidental, it was confirmed Monday.
Jim Mercready, the director of the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention, said the fire started in the East Coast Gamers store, one of approximately fifteen businesses operating in the building at 38 Robbins Street.
"The fire is believed to have started above the drop ceiling in the rear of the business," said Mercready, in a statement.
The failure of energized electrical equipment was the likely cause.
As a result of the fire, the building was posted as an unsafe structure by the Bureau of Fire Prevention and all of its businesses have been displaced, Mercready said.
The building has had temporary measures taken to secure the building and site and has been evaluated by a licensed professional engineer, said Mercready. A full report from the evaluating engineer to determine what must be done with the building will be submitted to the township building department for review, he said.
Mercready called firefighting efforts "outstanding" and credited all of the responding fire companies with keeping the fire from spreading to other, nearby buildings in the downtown area.
"Businesses in the area have been working hard to make repairs and cleanup water damage from the fire," said Mercready, including Capone's restaurant which has re-opened.
The fire cause and origin investigation was conducted by Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention Inspector Kevin Esposito, Toms River Police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office.