Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 1, 2023, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a structure fire with entrapment was reported on Buttonwood Drive in the Lanoka Harbor section of Lacey Township. Upon arrival, emergency personnel discovered a fully engulfed two-story structure fire. A female victim was rescued from the rear of the structure; she was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. Reports indicated that there were four additional victims inside the structure. Attempts were made to rescue these victims, but the roof of the structure collapsed – forcing firefighters to evacuate.
“This is an absolutely tragic situation. Sadly, four of the occupants of the residence perished in this fire. An investigation into the origin and cause of the fire is being conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office-Arson Unit, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, and New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office. More information will be released as it becomes available,” stated Prosecutor Billhimer.