Early Morning Fire At Kendall Park Home, Family Saved By Neighbor’s Quick Action

June 1, 2023

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Yesterday, May 31, 2023, at 5:35 a.m., police communications received a 9-1-1 call about a house on fire at 73 Kingsley Road.

On arrival, responding officers found a working structure fire in the area of the garage. Officers confirmed that the house had been evacuated and that there were no pets inside.

Kendall Park Fire Department began attacking the fire, while police officers checked on and spoke with the homeowners. The family said that they were sleeping and had no idea that the house was on fire, when they heard banging on their front door and bedroom windows. On checking the source of the banging, they encountered their neighbor, Santo Livio, along with another woman who has not yet been identified, warning them of the fire. They quickly evacuated the house uninjured.

Mr. Livio, 85, of Kingsley Road, stated that after a lifetime of being an early riser for work, he continued to wake up early in retirement, as well. Mr. Livio said that about 5:30am, he looked out his front door to see if there were any animals in his yard, when he noticed puffs of smoke that looked like fog over the garage corner of 73 Kingsley Road. Unsure if he was seeing smoke or fog, he stepped outside, at which point he saw a woman walking down the street. He asked her if it appeared to be smoke, and she said yes, at which point they both ran to the house and began trying to alert the residents, banging on the door and windows. Mr. Livio then called 9-1-1 as the residents left the house, and the unknown woman left the scene in the commotion of the fire response. Mr. Livio stated that the residents later came to his home to thank him for alerting them of the fire, allowing them to safely evacuate the home.

It took 50 firefighters from all three township fire departments, Kendall Park Fire Department, Monmouth Junction Fire Department, and Kingston Fire Department, 20 minutes to extinguish the fire. The fire appears to have begun in the garage, but a source and confirmation of point of origin are pending further investigation by the Fire Safety Bureau.

Chief Raymond J. Hayducka stated, “I credit Mr. Livio, along with the unidentified woman, and their quick thinking and heroic actions, with saving the family.”

South Brunswick Police Department Photo

Kendall Park Fire Company Photo

At Approximately 5:41 a.m. yesterday, Kendall Park Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to a working structure fire at 73 Kingsley Rd. Multiple neighbors noticed heavy smoke coming from the home, promptly dialed 911 and were able to wake up and evacuate the family. Upon arrival SBPD officers confirmed that the residence had been evacuated while Chief 220 and Chief 230 were met with heavy smoke showing from the exterior of the residence in the area of the garage. Engine 222 crew established a water supply and made an aggressive interior attack. The initial attack crew were able to make an effective knock of the fire and prevented the fire from spreading through the entire house. Crews from Monmouth Junction Fire Department and Kingston fire department assisted with extinguishment and overhaul. Thankfully closed interior doors were able to significantly minimize fire and smoke damage to nearby rooms. It is always important to keep bedroom doors closed to protect yourself in the event of a fire in your home. South Brunswick Fire Prevention responded and is conducting an ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire. Also assisting on scene was Kendall Park First Aid Squad and South Brunswick EMS. This incident shows how important it is for everyone in our community to work as team to protect each other. The quick thinking actions of the neighbors and the effective strategy of our Township’s first responders all played a significant role in saving lives and property today