Fix-up mishap causes Princeton fire

July 23, 1993 (~estimated)

Fix-up mishap causes Princeton fire

By Adam Miller

Staff Writer

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — A house on Harris Street was destroyed by fire yesterday after its 75-year-old owner accidentally set it ablaze while doing outdoor repairs, police said.

No injuries were reported.

Vincent Esposito, who said he owned the home for 47 years, was soldering an outdoor water spigot about 2 p.m. when shingles around the faucet began to smolder, police said. Esposito dumped water on the shingles then, believing the fire was out, went to the basement to do some other handiwork. But when he came outside more than two hours later, a passerby pointed to flames darting from the roof of the house.

Esposito called township police, who dispatched all Princeton Fire Department units and personnel to the house, located just behind The Medical Center of Princeton, at about 4:45 p.m, police said. The fire department had the blaze under control by 5:10 p.m., but by then much of the second floor had been destroyed and the ground floor had been wrecked by water damage.

Deputy Fire Chief Roz Warren said it is likely the remains of the house will have tote razed.

Esposito and a crowd of neighbors watched as thick, gray smoke billowed from second-floor dormer windows and the roof caved in.

Esposito, who neighbors said was the longtime owner of a township service station before he retired, said he has fire insurance.

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