Fire displaces six Williamsburg residents

WILLIAMSBURG – An early-morning fire forced six people from their Woodbury Township house Monday and left several pets dead, residents said.

None of the home’s six residents were seriously hurt in the blaze, which began around midnight, said Joyce Smith, who lived in the house with her husband, her 97-year-old mother and two adult children. A daughter’s boyfriend lived with the family, as well, relatives said.

Smith’s husband was sleeping in the living room when he awoke to a “weird noise,” she said. He turned to see nearby curtains ablaze.

The family escaped, but their pets – several cats and birds, as well as two rabbits – died from smoke inhalation, Smith said.

Their white house along Mill Hill Road was left uninhabitable, with yellow tape surrounding its charred entryways Monday afternoon. Family members are staying in a hotel while they calculate insurance payments and repair costs, they said.

Smith said they plan to return to the home once the damage, mostly in the living room and kitchen, is repaired.

Investigators were looking into possible causes of the fire on Monday, she said. Smith named an electrical problem as a likely cause.

The American Red Cross crew offered the fire victims food and clothing shortly after the blaze.

Firefighters from the Williamsburg Area Volunteer Fire Company responded at the scene and left by 3 a.m., resident Colleen Smith said Monday.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.