East Windsor Police Rescue Residents Who Jumped from Burning House

Bristol Way house was engulfed in flames early Tuesday morning.

Two people trapped in a burning home jumped into the arms of East Windsor police officers early Tuesday, authorities said.

Patrol Officers Earl Biddy and Troy McWhorter caught the two unidentified residents when they dove from a second-story window as flames ripped through the Bristol Way home, police said.

Three adults, a man and two women, were in the house when the fire started, and there were no injuries, according to East Windsor Fire Company #1 Chief Kevin Brink. The call came in at 12:59 a.m. and fire companies were on the scene within 10 minutes.

“The flames were probably 15 to 20 feet in the air, the whole house was on fire,” Brink said. “I was the first fire unit on the scene and the whole house was already fully engulfed in fire, the roof was on fire, the whole house - I mean top to bottom. The people are extremely lucky that they got out, nobody got hurt.”

The house was unsafe to go inside so firefighters had to battle the blaze from the outside by surrounding the house, Brink said. As the flames were put out, thick smoke filled the area, Brink said.

“The whole front of that house and the roof was on fire – it was a lot of fire,” Brink said.

The majority of the fire was out within 20 to 30 minutes but firefighters remained at the scene for several hours making sure flames were out and wetting down hot spots.

A charred frame remained after area firefighters put out the flames. Two cars parked in front of the house were burned, and the siding on two neighbors’ houses had melted. Several witnesses said flames could be seen from Airport Road.

A next-door neighbor who asked not to be identified said he heard a loud bang and saw flames shooting out of the house next door when he looked out his bedroom window. 

A total of 50 to 60 firefighters from area towns, including East Windsor, Hightstown, Cranbury, Plainsboro, Robbinsville, Monroe, West Windsor and Princeton Junction responded to what residents said looked like a “fireball.” Brink said around 20 firefighters came from his station. Both East Windsor rescue squads also responded as a precaution.

Brink said the local fire departments are completely staffed by volunteers, and sometimes it can take a few minutes longer to get to the scene than a paid department since people are coming from their homes, but is confident in the services they provide to the township.

“I feel 100 percent that we provide an excellent service to the town, and it’s top notch, no better than any other town could provide,” Brink said.

Officials said the fire remained under investigation.

This story was originally published at 5 a.m. Tuesday, and will be updated as information is available.

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KR May 29, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Thanks for sharing all this information on structural aspects .. Does anyone have more insight into how the fire started ?
S-man1 May 29, 2012 at 08:27 PM
My thoughts go out to the family who lost their home. I realize that there are many questions, however the time for those is later and the proper forum is not on the internet. If anyone has questions about response times of local fire departments, as taxpayers, you are certainly entitled to that information. For that, you should follow-up with a public records request through the Mercer County Department of Public Safety & Emergency Management - Emergency Services Communications Center in Lawrenceville. In the mean time, perhaps those of you local to this tragic event could be better focusing your time and efforts on helping out the family that just lost their home and all of their possessions. Just a thought.
More facts May 29, 2012 at 08:42 PM
@ Mike, and everyone else. Look at the second video posted. When the camera started rolling water was being put on the fire. At time stamp 19:50 into that video you can clearly hear an update from Central Dispatch advising the operation is 30 minutes into the call. Doing a little math, 30 minutes into the call and almost 20 minutes into the video means the video was started at 10 minutes into the call meaning water was being put on the fire at ten minutes in.
the facts May 29, 2012 at 09:17 PM
ok first and for most the video that was posted by KJ is from the rear of the structure. I was on the first arriving apparatus, and among one of the first to pull the first handline. So if you would like to believe what you say is true, thats fine. But i know the truth and my statement is the facts and i can back it up.
Mike May 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Like I said .... I FELT long and that was the reason for the tempers last night. I did not beat anyone up nor try to make anyone look bad.... Just trying to settle tempers. No need to defend anything .... We appreciate the firefighters and their bravery. As yes the community has already spent our efforts helping our friends.
Gary May 29, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Mike I would like to know how you got that is toke 20 mins for the firefighters to get there. When the alarm came in it only toke 7 mins for the first truck to get on scene
Lisa May 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM
My thanks to all the wonderful VOLUNTEER firefighters who take time to serve our neighbors. I know that my husband and all the other volunteers left their families and the comfort of their homes to risk their lives for others. I know that all the fire stations could use more brave volunteers, so maybe some will take this as a call to become more personally involved.
Pamela Baur May 30, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Great job by East Windsor, Hightstown, Cranbury and all the fire departments who responded. Undoubtedly their prompt response and hard work on the scene helped prevent this fire from spreading to the neighboring homes. I've lived in Hightstown for more than 30 years and know that we receive excellent service from our local volunteer fire departments. We are lucky to have these fine volunteers. Thank you all for your dedication to our community!
shannon May 30, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Wow I see alot of problems here. One thing is the second video shows a time stamp of 19:50 then it would be only 7:50 pm. The call came in at 12:59am. The first video only shows the back of the house so you cant see what is going on on the other side.. Gary correct me if I'm wrong but if 7 mins after the tones go off and there is no response from the fire house the county notifies the fire chief that there has been no response from your station would you like a retone? I don't think that happened being that it was toned out for a working structure and any of them having a scanner hearing the cops saying it fully involved they all would be going.In the second video I see squrt 42 with the master stream going and it looked like ladder 41 was on the other side. As to behind squrt 42 it looked like ladder 42 but I really could not see the name on the ladder. To have the fire out in 30mins is great and to the fact that no one got hurt. To think after all the trucks left and you all went to bed the fire fighters went back there stations and had to put all dry hose on the truck clean any tools that were used fill the air packs and clean the trucks before they could go back to there homes and back to bed.. How long do you think it took for all of this to happen. I bet about 2 to 3 hours and then they had to get up and go to there full time jobs. As to having a paid department we really don't need them because East Windsor and Hightstown I think cover the town just fine..
Mike May 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I was just trying to smooth things over with a bunch of folks that thought it took forever with others that said it was very quick ... but at this point it is not worth the effort. Too much to do for the family who needs me. I'm done here.
AF May 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Mike, you and Nick should stop down and fill out an application for membership to Dist I Fire Co.
W2307 May 30, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I wanna see all You people that are complaining about our response times get up in the middle of the night an do we as "volunteers"do for our community... It easier said then done. Mind you were sleeping while are tones went off an not only that we don't have the privilege like PD an run light an stop sign coming from our homes to the fire stations.. So if you all feel you can do better come an fill an app an then see how fast you respond during the day yet alone the middle of the night
justsaying May 30, 2012 at 03:57 AM
have a problem with response times? JOIN UP!
gnomad May 30, 2012 at 04:51 AM
"Great Spirits have often encountered vioent opposition from mediocre minds.." Albert Einstein
gnomad May 30, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Lola Truth May 30, 2012 at 05:18 AM
I really don't think its a matter of if "WE" think we can do it better or the next person. Its FRUSTRATING watching a neighbors home go up in flames and waiting 10 mins. YES, there is a bigger percentage that has no idea what its like to be a volunteer firefighter but at the same time these firefighters need to have a little heart and understand that a family just lost EVERYTHING! I live 4 houses away and was one of the first people out there and while I'm not going to say which fire companies were there and weren't I can say the only thing that bothered me was the firefighter which whom had words with that homeowner and told the homeowner that he owed him (the firefighter) a thank you. I think there is a time and a place for everything and I don't think that comment was needed at that point in front of all the neighbors and friends. I am thankful that not only everyone in the home got out safe but ALL firefighters are safe and kept all the neighbors safe. I believe there is a bigger picture here then attacking the volunteers that did their duty. If the people of centex and east windsor want a paid fire company speak up or forever hold your anger. Volunteer firefighters don't even have to put out a fire if they don't please to but they DID! Whether or not anyone wants to see that they helped us ALL out in the centex development is on you but think about it twice before attacking these people because you could be calling on them one day and they DO have a choice!
Al Bobanya May 30, 2012 at 01:05 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSiwoKCiy-s Some good insight into the fire and what the first responders faced that night......
pridesouthof95 May 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM
PEOPLE STOP AND THINK.......ALL of you that are mad and pointing the finger, when doring this time did you call 911??? How many of you went out to get the pic or video of a this persons life burning and at the same time on your phone getting this great fottage of a fire NEVER CALLED 911!!!! A paid or volunteer firefighter can only make a defferance when a the call is placed to 911! from the time it was called in it what you need to look at. I saw 5 videos on youtube and 1 of the 5 was from a fire dept. video! SAD!! you Think for yourselfers are more to blame then anyone!! To the firefghters that responded, the cards were stacked against you before any of you got out of bed to respond! great job keep up the great work!! (BOTH VOLUNTEER AND PAID!!!) Last thing...how far is One mile road to this location??? Lights and sirens cant change distance!
whatever41 May 30, 2012 at 02:52 PM
You are so right,,, little houses made of tickey tackey.
Liane Feyas May 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I also live in the neighborhood and this family lost everything-Are you in touch with them? What can we do as neighbors? I will start collecting funds to pool together for gift cards if you can get me a contact to get them to.
shannon May 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I would like for anyone that lives there to time them selves to see how long it takes to get from there to the fire house. For one thing I know there is a light at rt33 and Hickory Corner then another one at 130 and Hickory Corner and the lovely one at rt 130 and Dutch Neck. Well, you can make two right turns on the first two but well if you want to blow the third you will get a nice ticket in the mail for going through a red light for 85.00. I would think of using ti for something else. Anyway I think its about 5 to 7 mins or so and that is while driving 55 and then down to 35 on Dutch Neck. The law says the only one that can go through a red light is the United States Postal Service.. So, yes it dose take them a few extra mins to get on location because they are coming from home and not sitting at the fore house 24/7 like the paid crews are but they are all trained the same way no different.
EMTGPA May 30, 2012 at 10:39 PM
how many people from the CENTEX community volunteer time to the fire or rescue companies?
terribly tired of this May 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Thanks go out to the firefighters who risk their lives everyday to save others. Now....just imagine the tragic loss of human life if an overcrowded single family HIghtstown/East Windsor home-turned boardinghouse were to ignite in the same fashion as this horrendous, frightening fire. How our towns can know about these situations and sit on their hands doing nothing is absolutely beyond me. Are all Hightstown homes with rental signs posted inspected for fire safety? Are the complaints of residents about neighborhood boardinghouses taken seriously? I think not, in fact, I know not. C'mon you're risking the lives of the public and the lives of those brave volunteers giving their all to save others. Building inspectors, these lives are squarely in your hands. In light of this tragedy, what will you do to make our town safer?
Pamela Baur May 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM
It took me 7 mins to drive from One Mile Rd to the scene (driving at or about the speed limit, no lights or sirens of course). I think it is remarkable that firefighters were on the scene within 7-10 minutes. I just can't imagine anyone would complain about a response like that. Those speculating and making assumptions should wait until after the investigation is complete. All this gossip, here say and negativity is unfair and insensitive to all personally involved. Helping the family affected by this terrible loss should be the main concern. Does anyone have specifics on how we can help?
kelly becker May 31, 2012 at 01:56 AM
How can we help the family?
SEP May 31, 2012 at 02:03 AM
THANK YOU to ALL the firefighters who responded to this tragic event in the early morning hours on Bristol Way. The town of East Windsor has an amazing group of firefighters (EW Volunteer Fire Company No. 1/EW Fire Company No.2 ) who volunteer their time AND their families time to serve our entire community 24/7. I think those of you who responded negatively towards are men and women volunteers should take a closer look as to what these individuals give up on a daily basis to PROTECT and serve our community. There is not a more dedicated group of volunteers I have met nor more courageous than those that were on the scene Tuesday morning. We should all be thankful that there was no loss of life and that the fire was also contained so quickly. And remember...these volunteers may be the same ones to assist you and your family one day, so please do not be so quick to judge. Thank you again to all departments that assisted in this blaze. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family displaced by this horrible event.
Volunteer June 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Its simple... for those that have "issues" with the response times, you have three options. 1. You volunteer your time, being called away from your family on holidays, birthdays, etc., going on calls for the community at 1, 2, 3 or 4 am when you already have a fulltime day job and then when you have weekends off from your regular job, you are out with the department for hours on end either fundraising or participating in community based events. 2. You can go to the Mayor and tell her that you want to have your real estate taxes increased AT LEAST a $ 1000 a year, in order to have a 3-4 minute quicker response time with a paid department. 3. Unless your willing to do ONE of these first two options. Shut the hell up.
Timmy Davis June 01, 2012 at 11:08 PM
1000 bucks per household? I think your severely mistaken friend. I lived in Hamilton and the place that I lived put 4 guys around the clock a couple years back. My fire tax went up to about 390 bucks a year.
kids with lemonade June 02, 2012 at 03:18 AM
For those of you looking to help the family, a few kids in the neighborhood are having a lemonade stand to raise money. Providing the weather is decent, they will be at the PAL field Saturday and Sunday. Stop by! Have some lemonade, donate a few dollars, and help make a few kids feel like they're doing something wonderful! :)
Dave Bell June 04, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Is the cause of the fire known yet? When it is would be good to have a follow up story


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