Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that the fatal structure fire that occurred on Heron Street in Manchester Township on Sunday, March 19, 2023, has been ruled accidental.
On March 19, 2023, at approximately 6:50 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department and Manchester Township Fire Departments were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Heron Street. First Responders were able to rescue a female victim from the fire. The victim was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, and is currently listed in critical but stable condition. During the primary search of the residence, the body of a deceased female was discovered. The decedent’s body was transported to Community Medical Center for a post mortem examination and identification.
A thorough and extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, determined that the fire originated in a garbage can at the northwest corner of a patio, and the cause of the fire was deemed to be accidental due to discarded smoking material.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Manchester Township Police Department, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their combined and cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation.