The Hopewell Township Police Department, along with the Hopewell Fire Department, responded to a Stony Brook Road address, north of Route 518, for a residential structure fire around 2:34pm. Hopewell Township Police Officer Maria Gavdanovich arrived within minutes and observed the home engulfed in flames. Fire personnel, under the command of Hopewell Valley Emergency Services Chief Matt Martin, arrived on location and began to battle the fire.
A citizen called 9-1-1 reporting that he observed his neighbor’s house on fire. The residents of the home (husband and wife) were outside upon emergency personnel’s arrival.
Responding agencies assisting the Hopewell Fire Department included Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, the Pennington Fire Company, Union Fire Company, Lawrenceville Fire Company, Ewing Township Fire Division #30, Montgomery Fire Company #2, Hopewell First Aid Squad, and tankers from multiple agencies. The fire was brought under control at approximately 3:15pm. The home suffered major fire damage, as well as heat, smoke and water damage throughout. It was left uninhabitable.
The fire is believed to be accidental in nature occurring after a portable generator caught fire next to the exterior of the home while the homeowner was fixing it. Windy conditions may have contributed to spreading the flames to the home. The resident was preparing the generator for a snow storm which is forecast for tomorrow. The home had regular utility power at the time of the fire and the generator was not being used to power the residence.
This incident remains under investigation by the Hopewell Township Police Department (Detective Alexis Mirra) and Hopewell Valley Emergency Services (Specialist Ashley Coble and Fire Official Andy Fosina).
The Red Cross will be assisting the displaced residents.