20 cats, 1 turtle, 13 pigs protected from Middletown house fire

It was a fire with very special circumstances, but thanks to the efforts of 45 firefighters, 34 hospice animals are now safe after a fire at a home in Middletown Township.

The Middletown Township Fire Department responded to a house on Chapel Hill Road on Wednesday morning at around 9.26am after receiving a call from a resident who lived there that there was a fire in the basement laundry room , according to a statement from Middletown Township Fire Department public information officer Dennis Fowler.

Before firefighters arrived on the scene, the resident tried to put out the flames with several extinguishers, but to no avail.

On top of that, they had several hospice animals in the house which the resident told firefighters could not be removed as they are special needs animals.

This created a unique situation for firefighters who needed to put out the large basement fire and protect the animals inside the residence.

Middletown Fire Department Chief John Waltz arrived at the scene, after Middletown Police reported the blaze and called for reinforcements and the Rapid Response Unit and soon enough, 45 firefighters from five companies were at home to put out the fire and clean up the scene in just over an hour.

The firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and thus protect the 20 cats, 1 tortoise and 13 pigs who were inside the house.

The Middletown Township Fire Department was joined at the scene Wednesday morning by firefighters from the Navesink, Community, Middletown Fire Company No.1, River Plaza Hose and Lincroft fire companies.

None of the firefighters were injured.

Wednesday morning’s fire is being investigated by the Office of the Middletown Township Fire Marshal under the direction of Fire Marshal Edward Skelly.

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Raymond I. Langston