The failure of an exterior electrical connection cannot be ruled out as the cause for the fire that ripped through a Union Avenue business Sunday evening, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
A Union Beach volunteer firefighter died from cardiac arrest at the scene.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time, but investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office were unable to rule out an electrical failure due to a broken neutral wire on the exterior main electrical service feed from the service pole to the structure.
The origin of the fire has been placed at the rear of the structure located at 615 Union Ave.
“This is a tragedy for the family, firefighters, and the community of Union Beach. I would ask that everyone respect the sacrifice made by Robert Meyer and the privacy of his family and colleagues during this very difficult time,” Gramiccioni said.
Robert Meyer, 54, of Union Hose Fire Company No. 1, died from a heart attack suffered at the scene of the four-alarm fireSunday evening while battling the blaze at Hydrair, Inc., 615 Union Ave., in Union Beach.
He was pronounced dead at Bayshore Community Hospital by Dr. Shah at 7:17 p.m. Sunday evening. The results of a postmortem investigation by the Monmouth County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Meyer died from cardiac arrest. Four other firefighters were transported to Bayshore Community Hospital as a precaution. They were treated and released.
“The Bayshore community and Monmouth County residents are mourning the loss of a man who volunteered his time to help those in need. His death is a selfless act that illustrates his dedication to his community,” said Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Marc C. LeMieux.
“Robert Meyer has been a member of Union Hose Fire Company since 2005 and was extremely dedicated,” said Union Beach Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Tuberion , who also serves as the Station Chief of Union Hose Fire Company.
“As everyone can imagine, this has been an extremely difficult time for our Company and our Community. We would like to express our condolences to our brothers and sisters at Belford Engine Fire Company in Middletown, where Robert Meyer has been an active member for over 20 years.”
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his wife Linda, and the entire Meyer family,” Tuberion said. “Robert Meyer, ‘Hawk’ as we knew him, was a great friend and he will be greatly missed by our company, this department and our community,”
Funeral services for Firefighter Robert Meyer will be announced once all arrangements have been finalized, Tuberion added.
Union Beach firefighters responded to a 5:56 p.m. report of a structure fire at Hydrair, Inc., located at 615 Union Ave. and upon arrival struck a Second Alarm to bring additional resources to the scene. The fire was eventually elevated to Four Alarms with firefighters from the Middletown Fire Department, North Centerville Fire Department, Hazlet Fire Department, Keyport Fire Department, Holmdel Fire Department, East Keansburg Fire Company, Keansburg Fire Department and Red Bank Fire Department.
The investigation is led by detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Bureau and Forensics Unit and investigators from the Monmouth County Fire Marshal's Office, with assistance at the scene from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office Field Communications Unit, and the New Jersey State Fire Marshal's Office Investigation Unit. The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Highlands Office of Emergency Management provided light towers to the scene.
Anyone with information about this fire is urged to call Detective John Liebfried of this Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Chris Tuberion of the Union Beach Police Department at 732-264-0313.