Residents at a home at the end of the cul-de-sac on Monmouth Court in Point Borough and their dog were not hurt in a fire that at least three fire departments had to battle to bring under control early Friday evening.
Bonnie Fitzgerald and Glen Thorn, a friend who was visiting them and their dog, Sadie, who is about three months old, are all safe.
Monmouth Court is off Dorsett Dock Road, which is parallel to Beaver Dam Road.
Thorn said he and his wife became aware there was a problem when a friend of theirs who was visiting was upstairs.
"We heard him moving around upstairs," Thorn said. Apparently the friend had become aware of the fire.
Fitzgerald said she had no idea what started the fire, but that she first became aware of it when she saw flames coming out of the attic.
Thorn said, "We tried to put out the fire, but we couldn't, so we ran out of the house."
"We just threw the dog out of the house at first, so we didn't know where she went, but we found her," said Fitzgerald, smiling at her puppy, which was wrapped in a towel and being held by a neighbor who was offering help.
Flames were shooting out the side of the second floor and appeared to be licking at the top of the garage that is attached to the house on the lower level.
Family members and friends were offering the couple their homes to stay in until they can move back into their own house. The couple has lived in the house for three and a half years, said Fitzgerald.
Jim Pennell, whose wife is Fitzgerald's sister, said the couple and Sadie can stay with him.
"I live just on the other side of Beaver Dam Road," said Pennell. "I guess I have some house guests. And you know what? That's OK. We're a very resilient family. We're just glad everyone is OK. We'll go home, have dinner, and then come back tomorrow and assess the damage."
Ocean County Fire Marshal Daniel Mulligan, who is also Point Borough Fire Chief, was still at the scene at 7:30 p.m., but was not available to discuss a possible cause or any other details.
The Point Borough Fire Department, the Point Beach Fire Department and a fire department from the Herbertsville section of Brick appeared to have the flames under control by about 5:40 p.m., but smoke was still pouring out of the second floor until later in the evening.
Point Boro First Aid Squad was also at the scene. Thorn said he was going to get checked out because he may have inhaled some smoke.
The Point Borough police department was also at the scene.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available.