Firefighters preparing to enter the burning house from atop the enclosed front porch. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


On a day they lost one of their own to murder, Red Bank volunteer firefighters battled a house blaze on the East Side early Sunday afternoon.

Flames were visible through second-floor windows. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Firefighters responding to the 1:40 p.m. alarm arrived to find the house at 87 Washington Street ablaze, with the siding melting on the neighboring house to the north.

Siblings Mildred Johnson and Owen Duncan escaped the house, their lifelong residence, after the second floor caught fire, they told fire officials.

A third resident, their nephew, Daystar McMillan, 19, was visiting a friend nearby when he heard that smoke was pouring out of the house, he told redbankgreen. McMillan said he ran into the house to save their dog, an 8-year-old white German shepherd named Kato.

Firefighters battling heavy smoke had the fire out in about half an hour. There was no immediate word on a possible cause.

Early Sunday morning, Andrew Hill, 26, a volunteer with both the Westside Hose Company and the First Aid Squad, headquartered just two blocks away from the scene of the fire, was stabbed to death on Tilton Avenue.

Another borough man, Demar S. Reevey, 23, was charged with first-degree murder. Authorities have not released any information about the circumstances that led to Hill’s killing.