ENGINE 40 RESPONDS ON FIRST ALARM IN HAMILTON TOWNSHIP
Clothes dryer blamed for house fire
WZBN TV - HAMILTON - January 4, 2008 - A blaze that began in the basement destroyed a house on Pintinalli Drive last night, leaving a longtime newspaper reporter and his family homeless, fire and police officials said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation last night, but officials said it is not suspicious and appeared to have originated in the area of a clothes dryer.
Officials said the house belongs to George O'Gorman -- a former Times staff writer and current sports writer for The Trentonian -- and his wife, Eileen.
Officials said a member of the O'Gorman family, going into the basement to do laundry, spotted flames coming from the dryer and called 911 about 5:50 p.m.
Thick smoke was billowing from the one-story home and flames were leaping from the basement windows when the first firefighters arrived, officials said.
Firefighters attempted to attack the blaze from the interior but officials said they efforts to advance a hose through the house were hampered by the large amount of collectibles and other items stored in the house.
With fire and heat conditions inside the house getting worse and all residents already outside and safe, fire commanders ordered all firefighters to evacuate the house and battle the flames from the safety of the exterior, officials said.
Smoke blanketed the neighborhood as firefighters poured water and firefighting foam into the basement. A crew from PSE&G used a backhoe to dig up the front lawn to find the valve needed to turn off the natural gas supply to the home.
The blaze was battled by the Nottingham, Mercerville, Colonial, Enterprise and Robbinsville fire companies, under the direction of Nottingham Chief Gary Dempster.
Although the fire was declared under control about 7:10 p.m., smoke continued to billow from the home until nearly 8 p.m. Several ambulance crews were standing by, but there no immediate reports of any injuries.
Officials said the fire and smoke damage sustained to the home had rendered it uninhabitable, and noted that the local chapter of the American Red Cross was responding to the scene to assist the O'Gorman family.
Click here for a video report regarding the incident.