RED BANK: WOMAN ESCAPES HOUSE FIRE

As firefighters arrived, an electrical line lay sparking in the driveway to the left of the burning house. (Video and photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fire 102214 2A smoke alarm awoke a Red Bank woman shortly before fire engulfed her house early Wednesday morning.

Joan Raymond, of 23 Madison Avenue, said the smoke alarm, intoning a prerecorded “fire,” went off shortly after midnight, and she went downstairs to find her front porch in flames. She exited through the back door.

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RUMSON: PREDAWN FIRE DAMAGES HOME

rumson fire 101814 2Firefighters cut through the roof of the house, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rumson fire 101814 1A predawn fire drove a Rumson family out of their home early Saturday.

The fire, at 3 Sycamore Lane, off Ridge Road, was reported shortly after 4 a.m., and the residents had escaped safely by the time firefighters arrived, said Rumson Fire Chief Bob Halligan.

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RED BANK: WHAT SHOULD GO HERE?

40 WHITE 092314 1Restaurant? Bakery? Something else? The owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse are looking for the perfect match for the vacant structure. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Everybody’s got an opinion. But does anyone have a solid, workable idea for the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse’s second act?

The owners of the 103-year building at 40 White Street in Red Bank are open to suggestions, says John Morgan, who along with his brother and father, both named Michael, bought the two-story, red brick structure from the borough earlier this year for $400,000.

“This is such a unique building that you want something that’s going to fit its persona,” Morgan told redbankgreen on a recent tour of the property. And the family is committed to “local.,” he said. “We don’t want somebody from New York to come in.”

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RED BANK: CHIMNEY FIRE DAMAGE LIMITED

rb fire 286 spring 100514Red Bank volunteer firefighters “did a fantastic job” in quickly quelling a chimney fire at 286 Spring Street reported at about 9 p.m. Sunday, said Chief Tommy Welsh. The homeowner apparently overloaded the fireplace with wood, he said. Fire damage was limited to a small area of the roof, and the firefighting effort produced minimal water damage, Welsh said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ROOF FIRE VEXES CHIEF

rb fire 091814 1Firefighters closed off a portion of Broad Street to fight the blaze. One peered into a wall cavity abutting the roof, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A hard-to-locate rb fire 091814 2fire apparently started by roofers prompted the shutdown of a stretch of Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon.

Emergency personnel responded to smoke alarms from 50 Broad, home to the A Time to Kiln pottery class shop, and an adjoining building at about 4:10 p.m., said Fire Chief Tommy Welsh.

Volunteer firefighters then spent about an hour on the roof and inside second-floor offices, where they cut into walls in search of the source of hazy smoke, he said.

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RED BANK: INJURED MAN RESCUED FROM ATTIC

rb rescue 082014 2Rescuers removing the victim in a stokes basket through a roof hatch, as seen through a window on Ladder 91, above, and lowering him for transport to a hospital, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rescue 082014 1Red Bank police and volunteer firefighters executed a tricky rescue Wednesday morning when they extricated an injured man from under the roof of the primary school.

The victim, whose identity was not immediately available, apparently fell inside the peaked attic in a section of the school while conducting an annual inspection of the alarm system, authorities on the scene said.

“It’s like a maze and trusses and rafters in there,” said one cop.

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RED BANK: BOAT RESCUERS WIN PLAUDITS

altimari 081314Patrolwoman Kristin Altimari checks out her commendation for heroism. Also honored for roles in the rescue were public works employee Josh Schmidt, in yellow, and fire Chief Tommy Welsh, center, with Councilman Ed Zipprich and Mayor Pasquale Menna. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Just four months into her career as a police officer, Red Bank Patrolwoman Kristin Altimari drew praise Wednesday for quick thinking and heroism for helping four young women adrift in a boat on the Swimming River Saturday night.

The 30-year-old former Ocean County high school teacher, who joined the police department in March, was the primary actor in a brief drama involving a quartet of swimsuited teenage girls who found themselves helpless in a one-oared rowboat in the darkness of the Swimming River.

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RED BANK: DRIFTING BOAT PROMPTS SEARCH

rb river rescue 080914 1 rb river rescue 080914 2Draped in firefighters’ coats, four teenage girls were safe in Red Bank Saturday night after losing an oar to a dinghy they’d launched from Conover Lane in Middletown and drifitng in the darkness of the Swimming River. At right, volunteer fire and rescue workers searched the phragmites behind a home on Chapin Avenue hoping to intercept the boat, which landed at River Street with the help of a Red Bank policewoman at around 10 p.m., about an hour after it was reported adrift.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT: BON JOVI DONATION MISUSED?

murphy-plansRead Murphy in 2011. below, the fire and first aid squads were displaced from their home, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo above by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

sb fire house 040114The use of a $119,000 donation by pop star Bon Jovi for a new ambulance in Sea Bright has raised questions, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed one first aid squad ambulance and damaged another, “some in Sea Bright question how Bon Jovi’s generous donation — originally intended to purchase a new ambulance — instead was used to refurbish an old ambulance and buy a SUV that is used almost exclusively by Sea Bright’s part-time emergency management coordinator,” the Press reports.

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RED BANK: STORES REOPEN DAY AFTER FIRE

RB FIRE 060814 5rb fire 060914Stores, at right, were back in business as usual Monday, one day after a fire damaged a second-floor apartment at 43 Monmouth Street in Red Bank Sunday. Because customer furs are stored offsite, none were affected at Winters Furs, just below the location of the fire, said manager Rebecca Angello, and the Broadway Diner, next door, was reopened shortly after the blaze without any impact, a manager told redbankgreen. Fire Chief Tommy Welsh could not be reached for comment on the cause of the blaze, which displaced several tenants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIRE RIPS DOWNTOWN APARTMENT

rb fire 060814 3Firefighters used the roof of the Broadway Diner to access the burning building next door until aerial truck ladders were deployed. Below, Matt Tasche, center, escaped the burning apartment unharmed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fire 060814 2A Red Bank man escaped safely when fire swept through his second-floor downtown apartment as he slept early Sunday afternoon.

Matt Tasche, 29, told redbankgreen he awoke at noon to the sound of his window air conditioner shutting off to find the apartment, above Winter Furs at 43 Monmouth Street, filling with smoke.

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SHREWSBURY POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of May 10 to May 22, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY1-2014

Report of Theft in the area of The Store From River Road, Broad Street on 5/13/14. Victim reports unknown subject(s) attempted to cash fraudulent checks. Ptl. Ryan Cullinane investigating.

Report of Residential Structure Fire occurring at 165 Spruce Drive on 5/19/14. Fire determined to be accidental. No injuries sustained. Ptl. Tracy Polk investigating.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE SOLD, USE UNKNOWN

morgans 042914With his brother, Michael, looking on, John Morgan gives borough Administrator Stanley Sickels a deposit for the firehouse purchase. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 070612Red Bank’s former Liberty Hose Company firehouse may soon have the second owner in its 103-year history.

Brothers Michael and John Morgan, owners of several prominent downtown properties, acquired the two-story, red brick structure at an auction that drew no other bidders or onlookers other than redbankgreen Tuesday morning.

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RED BANK: STREET FAIR BUSTLES

The spring edition of the Red Bank Street Fair drew hundreds of visitors downtown on a warm and sunny afternoon Sunday. The event was a fundraiser for the Police Benevolent Association and the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN WINS FULL BLESSING

rb church 033114Developer Bob Silver, below, hugs congregants of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, above, after gaining approval to convert the 62-year-old structure to offices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bob silver 040314The proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank into an office complex was praised to the heavens Thursday night, even by a couple of neighbors who’d previously expressed wariness about it.

Developer Bob Silver, who previously converted a Christian Scientist church in Montclair into offices, won kudos for preserving one of Broad Street’s architectural gems while yielding to concerns about traffic. His project, dubbed “Two Eleven Broad,” was also lauded for “saving the home” of a shrunken congregation, which will continue to use a portion of the building, and for touches including electric-car rechargers and bike racks.

Silver is “the best possible neighbor that the neighbors could want,” said abutting property owner William Hartigan of Hudson Avenue, whose concerns about the plan were spotlighted by redbankgreen earlier this week.

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RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN UPSETS NEIGHBORS

hartigan 1 033114William Hartigan notes the proximity of a church garage to his family’s outdoor dining area. Below, the church as seen from Broad Street; the wing at the left would get a second story. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 033114It’s a story as old as the concept of property rights: a couple settles into  their dream home, and then the folks next door do something on their patch of heaven to disturb the idyll.

When William and Kathryn Hartigan moved to Red Bank from Jersey City four years ago, they never imagined that the church that abuts their Hudson Avenue property would be anything other than a house of worship, quiet and unnoticed except for the bells pealing in the steeple on Sunday mornings.

But the proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist on Broad Street into an office complex has Hudson Avenue neighbors alarmed about traffic, and the Hartigans about the impact on their dream.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE AUCTION FIZZLES

rb liberty auction 032514No bidders emerged at Tuesday’s auction, conducted by attorney Sean Byrnes, left, and Administrator Stanley Sickels. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01A discontinued Red Bank firehouse failed to spark interest at the minimum bid when it went on the block Tuesday morning.

The auction of the former home of the Liberty Hose Company, vacated late last year over needed upgrades that the borough says it cannot afford, was over in five minutes, as no voice bids or sealed bids were made.

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RED BANK: GATE MAIN ISSUE IN CHURCH PLAN

rbpb 032014 3Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan discusses the church’s plan for fencing at Thursday night’s planning board meeting with neighbor Kevin Moss. Below, a rendering of the proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

211 broad 032014The proposed conversion of a steepled Red Bank church into an office complex – with provision for a dramatically shrunken Sunday worship space – drew a full house to the planning board Thursday night.

Nearly all the concerns and objections to the plan for the First Church of Christ, Scientist house of worship on Broad Street were focused on one element: a gate on the Hudson Avenue side of the property.

Allowing for the gate, instead of sealing off access to Hudson, would surely result in more traffic on the residential street, neighbors said.

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RED BANK: CIGARETTE SPARKS FENCE FIRE

rb fire 031614Volunteer firefighters on the scene of a yard fire at 62 Washington Street in Red Bank Sunday night. Fire Chief Tommy Welsh tells redbankgreen the fire, reported at around 7:30 p.m., burned a wooden fence, apparently after a discarded cigarette ignited some leaves on the ground. The fire was quickly knocked down, with no damage to the house, Welsh said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: KICKING TIRES AT THE FIREHOUSE

rb liberty 2 031314rb liberty 1 031314Red Bank Administrator Stanley Sickels, at right, leads prospective bidders on a tour of the former Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon in advance of an auction the property scheduled for scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m. Minimum bid is $475,000; bidding requirements are here, and the building is being sold “as-in,” Sickels said. For 103 years, the building was home to the Liberty Hose Company, which now shares space with the first aid squad on Spring Street.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE AUCTION RESCHEDULED

liberty hose 070612HOT-TOPIC_01The auction of a former firehouse on White Street in Red Bank has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m. The original March 18 sale date was changed to meet public notice requirements, borough officials said. Minimum bid is $475,000; bidding requirements are here. For 103 years, the building was home to the Liberty Hose Company, which now shares space with the first aid squad on Spring Street.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)