By CAROL GORGA WILLIAMS
An Asbury Park woman jumped from the second story of a burning building on Atkins Avenue Monday but did not seem to be seriously injured, said Asbury Park Fire Chief Kevin Keddy.
Reports of a structural fire began coming into Monmouth County dispatch about 11:09 a.m. Mon., Jan. 31. When first responders arrived, they saw a woman lying in an alley between two buildings. She had escaped the second floor at 147 Atkins Ave. and was immediately transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
Telephone calls continued to come in through the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Monmouth County Dispatch, many reporting multiple people jumping to escape the fire, and some reporting children being lowered to the ground, after being swaddled in blankets.
Because of the callers reporting the seriousness of the blaze, the fire was upgraded to a box alarm and additional fire companies were sent to the scene. In addition to Asbury Park, an engine company from Wanamassa Fire Company, two engine companies from Neptune all joined the Asbury Park firefighters who previously had not been on duty but who were called in to help.
The duty battalion chief pulled in the Long Branch Fire Department, Keddy explained.
“Based on the severity of what was being reported, we called in everyone (who was available,” Keddy said.
They were relieved to see that there was only one injury: the woman who jumped. There was no evidence that children were being lowered from upper floors, Keddy said.
The fire – with the help of the above-mentioned companies and 35 volunteers, was under control within 15 minutes Keddy said of the single-family home.
It appeared the fire started in a second-floor bedroom which endured fire and smoke damage; the second floor displayed smoke and heat damage and the first floor had heat and water damage.
Those affected by the fire were being helped by the Asbury Park Department of Social Services. The landlord responded promptly and the house was boarded up by Tuesday, he said. All the utilities were immediately turned off.