RED BANK: FIRE RIPS DOWNTOWN APARTMENT

rb fire 060814 3Firefighters used the roof of the Broadway Diner to access to burning building next door until aerial truck ladders were deployed. Below, Matt Tasche, center, escaped the burning apartment unharmed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fire 060814 2A Red Bank man escaped safely when fire swept through his second-floor downtown apartment as he slept early Sunday afternoon.

Matt Tasche, 29, told redbankgreen he awoke at noon to the sound of his window air conditioner shutting off to find the apartment, above Winter Furs at 43 Monmouth Street, filling with smoke.

rb fire 060814 1A window air conditioner smoldered atop the diner shortly after the fire was knocked down. The diner’s staff watched from nearby, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb fire 060814 4Volunteer firefighters from Red Bank – including members of the Relief Engine Company, based just yards away from the site of the fire – and nearby towns quickly doused the blaze, which appeared to cause extensive second-floor damage.

The impact on the fur store and adjoining apartments and stores was not immediately known. The building is owned by Rocar Properties, which maintains its offices in a first-floor storefront.

The Broadway Diner next door was evacuated. There was no immediate word on whether the blaze affected the structure or interior of the restaurant.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, possibly a laceration, Chief Tommy Welsh told redbankgreen.