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UPDATE: 'Suspicious' Fire Guts Toms River House, Police Say

Police say they're investigating a "suspicious" fire that gutted a Toms River house at 499 Lakehurst Rd. early Saturday.

There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident, police said.

At 1:16 am The Toms River Police Department Dispatch Center received a call from a passing motorist that there was a home on fire.  Police spokesman Ralph Stocco said units responded to 499 Lakehurst Road to find flames shooting out from the front porch area of the home.

As they approached the residence, they located an open side door. However, the fire was already out-of-control and the officers were driven back, police said.

Toms River Fire Companies #1 and #2 as well as East Dover Fire Company responded to battle the blaze.  At 2:12 am the fire was determined to be under control.

A search of the home determined that it was vacant at the time of the fire.  Stocco said the investigation led police to believe that the fire is suspicious and that the residence has been vacant for quite some time.

Investigator Kevin Esposito of the Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau as well as the Toms River Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau are continuing the investigation. The initial police response to the blaze was by Ptl. William Hutton and Ptl. Walter J. Herman of the Toms River Police Department Patrol Division. 

Detective Mitchell Remig of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Arson Investigation Unit contributed to the scene examination.

Sue February 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM
Fire is the only way some people can collect anything from the damn insurance companies! Flood victims get a few cents on the dollar, if anything. Christie's State Insurance Commissioner lets them get away with murder!
suz February 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Why the heck do you need to bring up "Christie"????? This story has NOTHING to do with him! Are you just one of those sheep who just loves to jump onto the wagon for a (useless) ride(?)...seems like it.
Smot Revir February 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM
SUE = JACKASS !!!!
Mac February 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM
there goes that Bic again
. February 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM
While I agree that this story has nothing to do with Christie, I am amazed at the people that are still so blind that they will not see when it comes to him. Amazing. This house if vacant was probably used by either addicts or homeless people who started a fire and took off.
Paul E Taylor Jr February 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Hey Sue, this property is NOT near water shoots your theory about insurance money vs storm damage. With open door, either vandals or squatters
ponysmuse February 15, 2014 at 01:32 PM
that house has been vacant for the 5 years we live here. Out want damaged by Irene or Sandy.
Project Bluebeam February 15, 2014 at 02:39 PM
How nice. Collect insurance $$$ for the fire damage, then sell the land to a developer. It will be a medical office by the end of the year.
bayway mike February 15, 2014 at 04:00 PM
So what makes this fire "Suspicious"???
Project Bluebeam February 15, 2014 at 06:28 PM
Mike, vacant home + open side door = suspicious.
Chief Wahoo February 15, 2014 at 06:38 PM
Tribe Lightning
ThudNJ February 15, 2014 at 06:55 PM
vacant, no electricity being sent to it, No lightening in the area at time of fire, open door and no obvious cause for fire. So whatever started it was not normal.
Mattie February 16, 2014 at 09:43 AM
So... which part of this story has been "Updated" ? Seems like the exact same information we read the other day....
Mike Ritacco February 16, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Still regarding the seaside incident a good investigative reporter should look into JHL jr. Start with exposing his getting fired at the prosecutors office and giving the orders to steal everything from the army navy store. If you do a good job you can finally expose this fake arson wanna be investigator. Even the Mrs was forced out of the Prosecitirs
Av February 16, 2014 at 07:46 PM
Milk jugs needed
bayway mike February 16, 2014 at 09:14 PM
I thought that Mike Ritacco was in prison??
Proud Pappa February 17, 2014 at 09:52 AM
Where is the update???
Av February 17, 2014 at 08:24 PM
Where's the jugs?
Chucky February 20, 2014 at 02:22 AM
I've learned one thing from this all politicians are the same nd when yu vote it means crap cuz they get their way any way

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