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Fire Breaks Out in Laurel Chase, Gutting Two Units

Smoke is seen for miles as firefight lasts a half hour. A cat was saved from one unit and two firefighters were transported for minor injuries.

Update 4:30 p.m.:

A deck fire Monday spread to two condo units, destroying them as firefighters from multiple towns fought the blaze.

A cat was rescued from the premises and two firefighters required medical transport after the fire spread from the deck to the residences, police said.

The Laurel Chase development was filled with emergency responders from all six Toms River fire companies as well as Brick, Manchester, Seaside Heights and elsewhere to fight heavy smoke conditions that began just before 2 p.m. Monday.

The fully involved structural fire engulfed 194 Muskflower Court, where two of the four units in the three-story building were destroyed and left in ruins. Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the other units sustained smoke and water damage.

"The first 911 call came ... from a resident who stated there was a deck fire at the residence," Mastronardy said. Smoke was visible throughout Toms River as the fire continued for a half hour.

A cat was rescued from another unit by a firefighter, and two other emergency responders were transported to Community Medical Center for minor injuries, Mastronardy said. 

A major fire response drew from fire companies throughout Ocean County, to get the fire under control with ladder trucks and hose lines.

In addition to Toms River Fire Company 1 and 2, Silverton Fire Company, Pleasant Plains Fire Company, East Dover Fire Company and Ocean Beach, also responding were Manchester, Ridgeway, Lakewood, Beachwood, Island Heights, Brick and Seaside Heights fire companies.

Sergeant Scott Moeller coordinated the police response to the fire that is being investigated by Detective James Magovern and the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention.


Multiple fire companies have responded to a fire in a condominium complex in Laurel Chase after 2 p.m. Monday. Heavy plumes of smoke could be seen for miles on the Toms River horizon.

Multiple units were on the scene working to get the fire under control, with hose lines at a general alarm fire at possibly more than one unit in the Laurel Chase neighborhood.

One unit is heavily damaged by fire conditions. The residences have been evacuated.

Muskflower Court, Pointsettia Court and adjacent roads are closed for emergency response.

George August 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Where is Laurel Chase? Give us some main roads nearby if you can't indicate it on the accompanying map. Muskflower and Pontsettia aren't exactly major highways.
Mandy August 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM
It is near Toms River North.. near Old Freehold Rd. I was just there. It was pretty bad. You could feel the heat of the flames. Prayers for everyone involved!
DaveL August 13, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Just added 8 more pictures I took
robin ritchie August 13, 2012 at 08:18 PM
My Son is there with Toms River fire co 1 truck 25, he's name is Rob. How bad is it?
sha August 13, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Our brave volunteer firefighters at work again!
Catherine Galioto (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Hi folks, just posted an update to the story with more details.
barbara August 13, 2012 at 09:23 PM
wow, terrible, hope no one is hurt... thanks ro our fire fighters.
robin ritchie August 13, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Toms River fire Co is all volunteers. With a Town this big we need a paid fire dept! Thanks to all the volunteers!
George M. Lobman August 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM
This situation is one of the biggest fears that I ever had while living in Laurel Commons. A fire in this type of community effects everyone in the development. The buildings were all built with the firewalls being the state-o-art yet the heat is enough to make it move from unit to unit when the conditions are just right. Having spent 11 years living in the development and actually involved in the Planning Board when the units were brought before us, I have always loved living in that community. There will be investigations and suggested modification just like in any other development with clustered residents. God Bless the current management and resident and give them strength to make this good neighborhood even better.
JD August 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM
"Deck fire"... outside??? They are not allowed to have their gas grill on the deck!!!
Face August 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
JD..... R u serious? A gas grill? Well that was their first problem. I prefer charcoal myself. U think the burgers are done? I hope u all like 'em well done. Just making lite. I hope noone was hurt and I wish this great neighborhood a speedy recovery. Fires are very traumatizing to folks especially children.
spring August 14, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Don't know where you all get your information, but there was NOT a grill on the deck. This was an accidental tragedy for all those involved, perhaps your energy would be better spent praying for the victims and counting your own blessings.
bojangles August 15, 2012 at 05:24 AM
@ spring "A cat was rescued from the premises and two firefighters required medical transport after the fire spread from the deck to the residences, POLICE SAID." Id imagine thats where they got their info? @ Robin RIchie You dont need a paid department, The vollys in TR actually do a great job staffing trucks during the day. Ill Informed citizens should be banned from these message boards. But hey thanks for introducing us to your son!
Shelley licknack August 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Friends of mine lived in the unit that was destroyed. They lost everything. I am running a fundraiser for them..if u would like more information.. my email is Slicknack1@verizon.net. they have 2 sons..who graduated with my son, r getting ready for college and have nothing. Another fundraiser was set up by 3 of the boys friends..Thur sun 23rd..5-8pm at friendly across from ocean county mall. U must have a coupon.they r available at moddells and my house. The family will get 15% of the bill from each participating family. I am collecting any clothing for the boys...size 30, length 32..medium shirts...again..email me for details. Thank u..shelley Licknack
Shelley licknack August 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM
The date for friendly is Thursday, August 23rd.....sorry for typo
bojangles August 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Thats great of you Shelley
Really!! August 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM
this fire was caused by a women not putting her cigarette out properly. the families and animals that this women traumatized will be felt for a long time. and people are running fundraisers for this family?????? the money should go to all the other families that were displaced .....
Really!! August 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Shelley licknack September 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM
to the person who would not put their name on the post...REALLY? The WOMAN was at work..if you are going to post something..get it right. It was an terrible accident. Instead of judging another person...feel for them and anyone who has/is going through a tragic event. Have a heart. I hope that you may never experience what this family of 5 is going through every single day since this ACCIDENT. Gee..I wonder what you would comment if it happened to your family.
Shelley licknack September 03, 2012 at 02:12 PM
why do we need a paid dept...the volunteer dept handled this and every other fire the same way..response time was never compromised..kuddos to all of the volunteers in all departments...
Shelley licknack September 03, 2012 at 02:13 PM
at SPRING...good response...love when people post and have no clue or heart
Shelley licknack September 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM
rEALLY...no families were displaced except for the hours it took to get fire under control and investagated. The unit next to them was vacant. Were u there..did u watch the two kids come out of the house with no shoes on...where r u getting your info from...you r a very ignorant, heartless person who obviously has never experienced loss. Maybe u do need to go thru so etching like this to realize the devestation. U r starting to really annoy me..it would b different if u knew what the heck u were talking about. Get a real job..u have too much free time to give out false info.


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