CREAM RIDGE - Authorities are investigating a fatal fire in Monmouth County overnight that left one person dead.

The fire was reported just after 9 p.m. last night in a home on Imlaystown-Hightstown Road in Cream Ridge.

The owner of the Happy Apple Inn told News 12 New Jersey a man came into his restaurant and set a small fire in an upstairs bathroom. The owner said he believes the man used the fire as a distraction to rob the cash register.

The suspect then fled the establishment and hid in the house, where he started the blaze, the restaurant owner claimed.

State police would only confirm that a man was killed in the blaze. His name has not yet been released.