Authorities Probe Early-Morning Fire at Vacant House
Police are investigating a fire in an abandoned house beyond the Office Bar & Grill.
Arson investigators are probing an early-morning that broke out in an abandoned house behind the Office Beer Bar & Grill on Thompson Avenue.
According to Bill Rose, with the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department, the fire was in an unkept and abandoned house behind the restaurant Wednesday shortly before 2 a.m. Rose said the house is not affiliated with the restaurant.
The fire was in the kitchen area of the house, Rose said.
"There was visible fire emanating from the side entrance and kitchen area," he said. "The front of the house is intact, and there was a hole in the hallway [of the house] that was there before the fire."
Rose said the house is currently for sale and no one is living there—and it has several windows boarded up—but firefighters and police saw some kids running out of it after the fire broke out. This has not yet been verified, he said.
"I don't think there are any tenants in the house," he said. "I think the kids either broke in or are squatters. But I don't know for sure."
Rose said arson investigators responded to the scene, but he does not know the results of that investigation.
In addition, Rose said, there were initial reports that one or two individuals were trapped in the basement, but that was proven to be false.
Bridgewater Township Police have not yet released information about the incident, but the investigation is currently ongoing with the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
No firefighters or others were hurt in the fire, Rose said, which was extinguished by the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department, with assistance from the Finderne Volunteer Fire Company, Martinsville Rescue Squad, Bound Brook Rescue Squad and the Finderne Rescue Squad.
Check back with Patch for more updates as they are made available.