South Brunswick Township Creates Outreach Effort for Fire Victims

Fire Victims in Need of Assistance

August 12, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A fire at the Princeton Orchards Apartments last Friday, August 6th heavily damaged multiple apartments leaving 8 school children and their families with a significant loss. The South Brunswick Community Resource Team is collaborating to gather donations to distribute to these families, to help meet their immediate needs for clothing, food, school supplies, and other items.

The families are mostly in need of Gift cards- Walmart, Target, Amazon, Stop & Shop, Shop Rite, drug stores, etc.

The collections should be dropped off at the front desk at South Brunswick High School – 750 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction; South Brunswick Public Library -110 Kingston Lane, Monmouth Junction; South Brunswick Social Services – 540 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction or South Brunswick Recreation Center -124 New Road, Monmouth Junction.  

Donations will be collected through September 20, 2021. Please direct questions to Jeanne Wert at South Brunswick Director Of Social Services at South Brunswick Township (jwert@sbtnj.net) or Amy Finkelstein, Supervisor of Student Assistance and Wellness at South Brunswick School District (Amy.Finkelstein@sbschools.org).

Background on the fire –

On August 6, 2021, at 5:30 PM, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department was dispatched to the Princeton Orchards Apartments off Ridge Road for a kitchen fire. Police officers along with Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith and Deputy Chief Sean Wert arrived to find smoke coming from Building E of the garden apartment-style building. Firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions in Apartment E on the second floor in the center of the building. Due to the volume of fire and the need to search the other units in the building for victims and fire spread, the fire went to a third alarm. A total of 12 fire trucks and over 60 firefighters responded, including firefighters from Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Jamesburg, Plainsboro, North Brunswick Co. #2, Monroe Fire District #3, and Brookview. Firefighters from East Brunswick District #1, Monroe Fire Co. #1, Montgomery Fire Co. #2, and Little Rocky Hill covered South Brunswick fire stations during the fire and responded to two other incidents, including a truck fire on Route 522.

Ambulances from South Brunswick, North Brunswick and Monroe responded to the scene. One resident and one firefighter were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.

“Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and were able to contain the fire to the single unit of the 12-unit building”, according to Chief Smith. This was a challenging fire for firefighters. We had a large building with a rapidly spreading fire and a dozen apartments to search, plus humid weather that took a toll on the crews. Three other apartments off the same common hallway as the fire apartment suffered smoke and water damage and were all deemed uninhabitable.

South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau determined the cause of the fire to be accidental.