Officials investigate possible arson in Belmar fire

Authorities in Monmouth County are investigating a suspicious house fire that occurred this morning in which arson may be suspected.

Police say they received a 911 call from a neighbor at around 4:45 a.m., saying flames were coming from a home at 105 1/2 14th Ave. in Belmar. Authorities say the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

Fire officials, police and investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office were all on the scene, where they say the smell of gasoline or some other accelerant was in the air. Officials have yet to confirm or deny whether arson is suspected.

The fire is the third in Belmar in recent weeks. The prosecutor's office will not say if they are linked. However, there are similarities between the properties. All three were empty during the fires and all are considered suspicious. Two of them are rental properties with the same owner.

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