At 10:52 a.m., Tuckerton Fire Department was dispatched to a fire alarm at Village on the Green Apartments Building 3, 500 East Main Street. At 10:56, the tones were again activated for a possible structure fire at the same address. Chief Lee Eggert Jr. arrived, found smoke showing, and a dispatch went out at 10:58 for a confirmed working fire. Tuckerton Police Sergeant Chris Anderson attempted to enter the apartment, but could not due to heat and smoke. Complex management advised they believed an occupant was in the apartment on the second floor.
Engine 50-21 took a wrap at the hydrant in front of the complex, and drove into the courtyard to access the building. The crew of Lt. Dale Eggert, Jesse Doberenz, Gage Nist, Steve Makowski, and Andrew Tonnesen took tools, a thermal camera, and two handlines while pump operator Lee Eggert got water with the assistance of some residents pulling hose. The victim was quickly spotted by use of a thermal imaging camera (TFD fire and EMS personnel had answered previous calls at this address), and was taken outside. Meanwhile the second engine 50-01 arrived with a crew of Ashley Linney, Kathleen Viola, and EMT Brett Golden. Golden checked the victim, and though badly burned, was found to be breathing. Rescue 50-23 arrived with Capt. Keith Emeigh, Anthony D'Amato, and Joe Mathis. Engine 50-11 came with driver Rich Deldonna. While Quality Medical's crew loaded the victim onto a stretcher for transport firefighters completed extinguishing the fire, containing it to the apartment of origin. West Tuckerton Assistant Chief Danny Embrich arrived on scene quickly and assisted Chief Eggert with operations.
West Tuckerton, Mystic Island, Eagleswood, and New Gretna fire companies along with Great Bay Regional Vol. EMS also assisted at the scene. Parkertown Fire provided cover up and landing zone services. Ocean County zone coordinator Jay Sonnenfeld was on scene as well as the Ocean County Sheriff's and Prosecutor's offices.
We later learned that the victim was pronounced dead. This was the first fatal fire in Tuckerton since one occurred across the street at Bayview Trailer Park in the 1970's.