EATONTOWN:A fire at a borough apartment complex has left nine residents and two firefighters injured and claimed the life of at least one pet.
Eatontown Lt. Lawrence Tyler said that the fire started at 3 Throckmorton Avenue in the Garrison Apartments at 12:37 a.m. on April 10.
The first responders found an active fire on the third floor and began attempting to help residents out of the building.
"The officers found a heavy smoke condition in the hallway and an active fire in one of the third floor apartments which kept them from helping several residents escape the building," Tyler said.
Members of the Eatontown Fire Department were able to rescue several residents who were trapped by the fire and smoke by using a ladder to help the victims out through an apartment window. Two firefighters also responded to the third floor apartment which appeared to be the origin of the fire and were able to rescue the resident of that apartment.
Nine residents were saved and sent to Monmouth Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Tyler said a 69-year-old resident of the apartment in which the fire appears to have originated had second and third degree burns over 80 to 90 percent of her body and was transported to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Newark from Jersey Shore for treatment of her severe injuries.
A 78-year-old woman was transported to Riverview Medical Center for chest pains, and the remaining residents were transported for treatment of smoke inhalation. Two of the victims were under the age of 18, Tyler said.
Two members of the Eatontown Fire Department were transported to Monmouth Medical Center for smoke inhalation.
Tyler said said residents reported at least two missing pets and at this time, police have confirmed that one cat died in the blaze.
Charles Webster, spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, said the fire "at present is not deemed to be suspicious and the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire is pending."
The Red Cross also responded to assist with the displaced residents.
"As of this time all residents have either been relocated to surrounding hotels or have sought shelter with family and/or friends," Tyler said.
The fire was contained to the area of the third floor of the building with heavy damage to several apartments and the roof of the building. The utilities to the building have been shut off and the building has been deemed uninhabitable by the fire marshal's office.
Departments that responded to the fire included, Eatontown Fire and First Aid, Oceanport Fire Department, West Long Branch Fire and First Aid, Tinton Falls Fire Department, Shrewsbury Fire Department, and Neptune Fire Department.