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RED BANK: FAMILY DISPLACED BY CONDO FIRE

A drone view shows the scene of the Ambassador Drive fire. (Click to enlarge.)

By BRIAN DONOHUE

A family escaped uninjured but were displaced from their home after a fire broke out in the basement and caused “heavy damage” to their townhome in the Elkridge complex on Ambassador Drive Tuesday night, officials and neighbors said.

Smoke pours from the top floor window of the home at 96 Ambassador Drive. (Photo by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge.)

One Red Bank firefighter was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be symptoms of heat stroke, officials said, but could be heard talking and saying “I’m okay” as he was led away by EMS. The family’s cat also perished in the blaze, according to Red Bank Fire Department First Deputy Chief Frank Woods.

The alarm was first reported at about 9:20 p.m. at 96 Ambassador Drive, a private road off Spring Street at the Little Silver border.  Woods was among the first to arrive and said residents of the unit reported all family members had escaped and were accounted for.

But inside, Woods said, “conditions began to worsen very rapidly” with firefighters encountering “heavy fire on the lower floor and heavy smoke throughout” the other two floors.

The Red Bank Fire Department put out a call for mutual aid, with firefighters from Little Silver, Fair Haven, Middletown, Tinton Falls and Eatontown all descending on the scene.

Woods praised the “tremendously professional” response of firefighters who managed to contain the blaze and keep it from spreading or damaging the two adjoining units in the complex of attached townhomes.

“All firefighters did a fantastic job,” he said.

The exact cause of the fire has not been determined and will be investigated by the Red Bank Fire Marshall and Monmouth County Fire Marshall investigators, Wood said.

Patrice Murray, who lives next door to the unit where the fire occurred, said residents told her they believed it started in the basement clothes dryer.

Residents of the condo declined to comment at the scene. Property records show the condo is owned by Lori Klodaski.

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