By JOHN T. WARD
The blaze, reported at 8:15 p.m., caused extensive damage to the upstairs portion of the house at 31 Park Avenue. The was no immediate determination of a cause, authorities said.
The identities of the occupants, said by police to be about 27 and 22 years old, were not immediately released, and the owner of the home was not present at the time of the fire. The house is listed in property records as belonging to Patricia Dalton.
Police Sergeant Bob Boyer, who was the first to arrive on the scene, said flames were shooting out of the front, second-story window just beneath a peaked roof. He found the front door locked, went around the to unlocked back door, and made his way through heavy smoke to the front door, which he unlocked for firefighters, he said.
By then, the two occupants had already departed the house, he said.
“They did a real nice job stopping it from making its way down to the first floor,” Boyer said of the firefighters.
As of 9 p.m., Rumson volunteer firefighters, backstopped by counterparts from Sea Bright and Fair Haven, were putting out the last signs of fire and awaiting the arrival of a JCP&L crew to cut power to a live electrical wire downed in the incident.