Lavallette condo complex fire ruled accidental

Posted: Updated:

A fire that destroyed an Ocean County condominium complex has been ruled accidental, officials said Friday.

The fire started Thursday around 1:30 a.m. at the complex on Grand Central Avenue in Lavallette.

Lavallette resident Paul Kelly said his dog woke him up, and he was able to call 911 to report the fire.

Fire officials said a 45-year-old man who jumped from the second-story to escape the fire and smoke was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening inures. His name was not released.

An investigation determined that the origin of the fire was the top of outdoor carpeting that lined the floor of the walkway in between unit No. 7 and unit No. 8. Officials said the cause of the fire was deemed accidental and improperly discarded smoking material could not be eliminated as the cause of the fire.

This was not the first time the building was badly damaged. Residents tell News 12 New Jersey that the building also suffered major damaged during Superstorm Sandy when the whole area was under water.

The building’s occupants said they don’t want to have to deal with being displaced again.

“I’ve got to do this again? We are going to have a condo meeting,” said fire victim Rosalie Faso. “We do have flood insurance, but now we have to see if we can rebuild.”

The building contains 10 units, but not all of them were occupied.

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