FIRE RIPS THROUGH MIDDLETOWN HOME

Flames burn through the roof on the east side of the house. The blaze caused a shutdown of a stretch of Bamm Hollow Road, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A fire that neighbors said was preceded by a loud bang caused heavy damage to a Middletown home early Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said the fire appeared to begin in or near debris piled against the east side of the house, at 231 Bamm Hollow Road, near the intersection of Red Hill Road.

“I heard a loud bang, like a truck dropping a load of something, and didn’t think anything of it,” neighbor Sal Cammarato told redbankgreen. About five minutes later, he said, “my mom looked outside and said, ‘Did you see all the black smoke?'”

Cammarato said the fire appeared to begin in debris piled against the east side of the house, and quickly consumed the east wall, burning through a section of second-story roof, which collapsed.

No injuries were reported and no official information about the blaze was immediately available. Volunteer firefighters from across the township appeared to have the fire under control at about 2:30 p.m.

The house, listed in property records as belonging to Franklin Bailey and Claudette Fuller, was not occupied at the time, neighbors said. Set several hundred feet back from the road on a wooded hill, the location appeared to challenge the ability of firefighters to position an aerial tower to pour water onto the fire.