A fire destroyed part of the second floor of a house at 32 Dogwood Lane in Hazlet Township Tuesday night, around 9 p.m. Dogwood Lane is located between Beers Street and Moak Drive.
Nobody was home at the time of the blaze, but firefighters did rescue a dog from inside the building, said North Centerville Fire Chief Andrew Christ, who was the scene commander.
According to county property records, the house is owned by the Discenza family.
Stephanie O'Connell was driving to her home on Dogwood in the dark night when she noticed what she first thought was fog in the air, and then realized it was thick black smoke.
As she came around the bend, she said, "I saw flames shooting through the window." She immediately called 911. She said firefighters were on the scene in "three minutes."
Dozens of firefighters were on the scene from the township's three companies: North Centerville, Hazlet Fire Co. #1 and West Keansburg. Also aiding at the scene was Matawan Borough and Union Beach, as Rapid Intervention Crews (RIC) for firefighter safety.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Office of the Monmouth County Fire Marshal, which was on the scene.
Several of the firefighters were formally dressed under their uniforms, in white shirts and black ties. They had just returned to the firehouse after attending a ceremony at Town Hall where they were honored for their volunteer service during Hurricane Sandy.