Fire in Old Bridge leaves one dead, another in serious condition

One person has died, and another person was seriously injured in an Old Bridge fire.

The fire broke out on Judy Court this morning.

The home was destroyed by flames, and the victim was caught inside unable to escape.

According to neighbors, the victim, Joseph Berna, 68, was the son living inside the home.

The father only named Frank, 89, was seen hanging from a window when police first arrived on scene. 

"The gentlemen was hanging from the window on the left hand side of the second floor," says Chief Bob Verney. "PD was trying to make a rescue with a commercial type ground ladder which wasn't working. Firefighters came with a more sufficient ladder to get the guy out of the window."

Frank was taken to St. Barnabas Burn Center. He is listed in critical, but stable condition.

A neighbor next door says he called 911 when he first spotted the flames. He also saw Frank yelling from the upstairs window and tried to help.

"I got the garage door open to get into the kitchen and it was billowing flames in there so I closed it again and I ran to my kitchen, got a little fire extinguisher but it didn't do anything," says Matt, the neighbor.

Police then grabbed a ladder that Matt owns, trying to rescue Frank from that top window but it wasn't until firefighters arrived with their much longer ladders that they could get the man down.

It's still unknown what caused the fire, but it's believed to have started on the first floor.

Two firefighters were taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

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