RED BANK: 12 FAMILIES DISPLACED BY BLAZE

red bank oakland square fire The fire began in mulch ignited by a discarded cigarette or match at the 12-unit Oakland Square apartments, officials said. The top of a smoking pole is visible at right. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenA discarded cigarette or match appears to have ignited a blaze that sent two people to the hospital and left 12 families without a home Sunday morning, officials said.

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FIRE VICTIM RECOUNTS ESCAPE

A worker boards up windows of the burned-out house on Friday. Below, Ryan Howard talks to a policeman during the fire. (Photo above by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Before dawn last Thursday, Ryan Howard woke to the sounds of his dog barking and children screaming outside his bedroom window.

“Why are the kids out playing at this hour?” his wife, Nicole, asked him. It was 3:15 a.m.

Concerned, Howard peeked outside and saw flames erupting from the adjoining portion of the Red Bank duplex in which they lived, at 46-48 Hudson Avenue.

After getting his wife and two dogs outside to safety, Howard re-entered the house to get his keys so he could move their cars to give firefighters access, he told redbankgreen.

By the time he’d done so, the entire back of the house was engulfed in flames.

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