Fire officials: Holiday candle sparked condo fire

Posted: Updated:
NORTH BRUNSWICK -

Police have determined that a holiday candle sparked the fire that destroyed 12 condominium units in North Brunswick Saturday night.

The candle is believed to have been left unattended in a first-floor living room.

Officer Joe Grasso rescued a family of four that night. He says he arrived at the Governor's Point complex just before 10:30 p.m. He says he saw 5-year-old MaryKate Connor, her 5-month-old brother Larry and their grandparents trapped on the second-floor balcony. Their home and hallway had already been filled with smoke and the flames were wrapping around the balcony.

"I pulled a table from the first floor, used that to scale up, did a pullup onto the second-floor balcony," Grasso says.

Grasso then dropped the two children 15 feet into about six pairs of waiting arms below. After they made it down safely, the grandparents slid down the balcony.

Fire officials determined the cause of the fire was accidental. They are reminding residents to make sure smoke alarms have fresh batteries.

Police say only 15 of the 35 tenants were home at the time of the blaze. Only minor injuries were reported.

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