Firefighters and police remained on the scene of a large residential structure fire at 509 Clinton Avenue in Toms River that claimed the lives of two dogs, police spokesman Ralph Stocco said.
By 2 p.m. Monday, the fire had been out for several hours, though investigators remained on the scene, Stocco said. The fire broke out at 9:23 a.m., was contained at 10:28 a.m. and brought under control at 11:45 a.m.
No one was home when the fire broke out, though there were two mixed breed Rhodesian Ridgebacks in the home, both of whom died despite efforts by emergency personnel to save them, said Stocco.
"Investigators are still on the scene sifting
through the debris in attempts to determine the cause," said Stocco. "It appears to have started in the southwest
section of the home near the kitchen area."
The fire elicited a response from six fire companies: Toms River Fire Company 1 &
2, East Dover Fire Company, Silverton Fire Company, Pleasant Plains Fire
Company and Island Heights Fire Department
Detective Tom DiMichele is conducting the
investigation for the Toms River Police Department. Detectives John Doran and
Detective Tim Haskel of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office Arson Unit are also
investigating. They are assisted by Dan
Molyneux from the Sheriff’s Department CIU Division. Also responding were the officers Esposito,
Hayes, and Bauer from Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau.