135-statesireFour people are reported to have died in a fire that destroyed the house at 135 Statesir Place. Below, a gas meter removed by a crew from New Jersey Natural Gas. (Click to enlarge)

meterFire investigators and a crew from New Jersey Natural Gas were on the scene following a fire that was reported to have killed four people in Middletown early Tuesday morning.

Scant information about the blaze had been released by authorities by mid-morning as officials sought to contact relatives of the dead, said to be four adults.

A neighbor said the fire, at 135 Statesir Place, happened at about 3a.

Shortly before 9a, a gas company crew dug up what appeared to be a gas meter and stowed it inside a company vehicle as television and still cameras zoomed in on the device.

The blaze appeared to have destroyed every room on the first and second floors of the split-level home, located two blocks east of Route 35, between Pine and Chestnut Streets.

“I’m in shock —I can’t even believe it” said 17-year-old neighbor Michelle Ozut, who did not know about the fire until she awoke about fire hours afterwards.

She described the home’s residents as a couple in their late 20s. “They just kind of kept to themselves,” she said.