Last night’s smoky fire on Newman Springs Road was caused by a minor car accident in which a vehicle struck a guy wire to a utility pole at the Spirits Unlimited liquor store, knocking loose a live electrical wire, police and fire officials said.
The live wire came down on parked tractor trailer, a moving company vehicle that was filled with household goods, setting it on fire, Red Bank Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels tells redbankgreen. The fire in turn set off a series of loud pops and explosions as the truck’s gasoline tank, tires and a motorcycle in the trailer burned, he said.
The driver of the truck was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident, which was first reported as a power outage notification from the Community YMCA at 3:47p. The truck fire was reported two minutes later.
Firefighters were unable to attack the raging blaze for almost an hour as they waited for employees of power utility Jersey Central Power & Light to arrive and cut electricity to the wire, Sickels said. A JCP&L spokesman said last night that power to 486 customers was off for 20 minutes as a result.
The cab and entire contents of the 40-foot trailer, which included furniture, clothing and household items, were incinerated.
The truck was owned by a James Donnelly of Red Bank, said Red Bank police Capt. Steve McCarthy.
The driver of the car was Anthony Guarino, 44, of Tinton Falls, who was uninjured. No summonses have been issued, McCarthy said.