Several local fire departments responded to a two-alarm fire Thursday afternoon at 5 Crowfield Lane in Holmdel that left a house with moderate damage.
Nobody was injured in the blaze at the home of Christopher and Sandra McGreevy, which was reported to police at 2:42 p.m. The house sustained some damage when flames spread from a first floor bathroom under renovation up to the attic, licking the roof outside. Firefighters had to cut three holes in the top of the house to release heavy smoke.
Outside the burning house a plumbing contractor, Scott Burkhardt, told Holmdel Patch was working alone in the house when the fire began. Sandi McGreevy and her son Brendan had left the house 45 minutes earlier and Chris McGreevy was at work.
Burkhardt said that he had come up from the basement and heard the crackling sound of burning wood. "All of a sudden the central vac went off," Burkhardt said. He said he unplugged it and quickly dialed 911 for help. "I had to run down the end of the street to read the street sign, because I didn't remember the name," he said.
Holmdel Police rushed to the house, located on a cul-de-sac just off of Line Road in Holmdel, and emptied three fire extinguishers on the fire before Holmdel Fire Company #1 (Main Street station) arrived and laid supply line, Holmdel Fire Company #2 Chief John Boyle said. When the Company #2 (Centerville station) arrived, firefighters climbed up ladders propped against the house and fought the fire from a tight attic space. Hazlet Fire Company #1 firefighters helped cut the holes in the roof.
Keyport and Union Beach Fire company Rapid Intervention Teams stood ready to protect the firefighters fighting the blaze. First aid squads from Holmdel, Keyport and Union Beach were present in case they were needed, and provided cold water to the firefighters.
By about 3:30 p.m., the fire was under control.
The cause of the fire was ruled to be accidental, according to police who said an investigation was conducted by Ptl. Theodore Sigismondi of the Holmdel Police Detective Bureau, the Holmdel Fire Official and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office.
This was Holmdel township's first house fire since one on Chardonnay Drive about a year ago.