Francis Foderaro, 16, told redbankgreen he emerged from his home three doors away to see “a tornado of flames literally twice the height of the house” and called it in.
The fire rapidly consumed the structure.
“I think within six minutes the entire house was just engulfed in flames,” Brian Todd, who lives in the house next door to the south with his wife and two children, said Thursday.
“The flames were billowing out, and we thought our house would be gone, but the wind shifted” toward the north, he said.
Some siding on Todd’s house melted, but the home remained habitable, he said.
The single-family home next door to the north, at 174 Fair Haven Road, however, was damaged by fire and water, and is temporarily uninhabitable, according to police Chief Joe McGovern.
Dozens of volunteer firefighters from the adjoining towns of Red Bank, Little Silver, Rumson and beyond joined in the effort. McGovern said the fire was under control at around 6 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but not suspicious, according to McGovern.
Borough residents have begun rallying to collect clothing and other necessities for the displaced residents, and a GoFundMe account was planned, according to posts on the Fair Haven, NJ Facebook page.
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