BASIE COUSIN INJURED IN RED BANK FIRE

firePhyllis Rudrow, seen with Dr. Eugene Cheslock below at the 2009 dedication of a bust of her cousin, Count Basie, suffered burns in a blaze that heavily damaged her home. (Photo above courtesy of John Tyler. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rudrowA cousin of the late William ‘Count’ Basie suffered serious burns in a fire at her Red Bank home late Sunday afternoon.

Phyllis Rudrow, 64, was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center with second- and third-degree burns that were not believed to be life-threatening, police Captain Darren McConnell told redbankgreen on the scene, at 183 Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

ame-zion-091811Reverend Ronald McDougal and members of the nearby Shrewsbury Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church, in background, comfort one another outside the Rudrow home. (Click to enlarge)

Rudrow was conscious when she was taken to the hospital, and a resident of the Evergreen Terrace apartment complex next door said she “looked okay,” considering her injuries and the ordeal.

Reports that two civilians rescued Rudrow from the burning house could not be immediately confirmed.

The one-story house, set back from the street on a deep, overgrown lot, appeared to have been extensively damaged.

Rudrow is a congregant of the nearby Shrewsbury Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church, which was just concluding a Sunday service when volunteer firefighters from Red Bank, Middletown and elsewhere arrived on the scene. As church let out, word spread among parishoners that Rudrow had been injured, and one woman broke down in tears.

Rudrow appeared at a ceremony to dedicate a bust of her late cousin, composer and bandleader Basie, at the Red Bank train station in 2009.