Blaze guts newcomers’ Tudor home

January 6, 1993 (~estimated)

Blaze guts newcomers’ Tudor home

Electrical problem blamed for Princeton Township fire

By Laura Lorber

Staff Writer

A fire smoldered and spread for more than an hour and a half before an alarm alerted a teen-ager and his dog to flames in the Princeton Township house that the family moved into only 13 days before.

The Saturday night fire, believed to be electrical in origin, destroyed 70 percent of the Tudor-style home home on Greenway Terrace.

The blaze gutted the left wing and eaves and smoke and water from firehoses ruined the family’s furniture and belongings, including antiques and several Oriental rugs they had moved from Boston Dec. 21.

“It’s a tragedy. I know it’s a tragedy. Let me go on with my life,” said owner Jules Musing. He stood in the carport of his gutted house late Monday afternoon wearing a sweater, talking to contractors and an insurance agent.

The pharmaceutical executive had relocated his family from Boston four days before. Christmas, moving because of a new job, he said. Arriving home from a trip to New York Saturday night, Mr. Musing and his wife saw smoke billowing out of their house at 86 Greenway Terrace. Soon after, fire trucks arrived, alerted by a fire alarm inside the house, he said.

He later learned that one of his two teen-age sons was home when the fire started and had run out of the house with the family’s Labrador to a neighbor’s house to call the fire department.

A witness said a television could be seen still playing on the second floor while fire trucks pointed hoses at the flames.

All three Princeton fire companies responded to the scene, ac-cording to Township Fire Chief Ray Bianco. Lawrenceville Fire Co. and Princeton Junction Fire Co. assisted and Kingston provided backup.

It took about an hour for the 36 firemen who were at the scene to bring the fire under control, accord-ing to Ted Cashel, township fire official.

The fire was determined to be electrical in origin, but no one is sure how it started, Mr. Cashel said.

It started behind the walls on the second floor in an empty space that contained only electrical wires, he said. It burned between 90 minutes and 2 hours before it was detected by the fire alarm at about 9 p.m., he said.

From there it traveled to all parts of the house and engulfed the attic, left wing and eaves, he said. The house was about 20 years old, Mr. Cashel said.

The basement suffered smoke and heat damage, while the right wing was saved, but was uninhabitable, he said.

The family was staying in a hotel, Mr. Musing said.

The water pressure in that part of the township is relatively low, com-pared to other areas, but it is not below safety standards, Mr. Cashel said. There was an initial drop in water pressure, but it did not affect the ability of the firemen to do their job, he said.

On Monday, Elizabethtown Water Co. workers repaired a suspected water leak at a fireplug on nearby Fairview Drive, which had been leaking for a few days, but did not hinder firefighting efforts, he said.

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