A tragic roof collapse took the lives of four people in the Ocean County, NJ, town of Lacey Township, about 50 miles north of Atlantic City, after a fire consumed a residence on Buttonwood Drive in the Lanoka Harbor neighborhood, according to news reports from the Tri-State area.
According to authorities, the two-story home caught fire around 12:30 p.m. on August 1 and quickly spread and had “fully engulfed” the residence when firefighters arrived. Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer confirmed the four deaths later that day.
“This is an absolutely tragic situation,” Prosecutor Billhimer told NJ.com. “Sadly, four of the occupants of the residence perished in this fire.”
The prosecutor’s office has not released the identities of the victims. A female occupant was rescued from the rear of the residence before the roof collapsed and was taken to hospital for her injuries.
“The township is deeply saddened by today’s tragic fire,” Lacey Township Mayor Tim McDonald said at a news conference. “We pray for the family during their time of (grief). We thank all agencies who responded to the fire during this excessive heat.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies and the state Fire Marshal’s Office.