Saturday Evening Electrical Fire Causes Extensive Damage to a Township Home

January 6, 1993

Saturday Evening Electrical Fire Causes Extensive Damage to a Township Home

The roof, interior and left wing of an English Tudor style come at 86 Greenway Terrace off Rosedale Road sustained extensive fire, smoke and water damage when a fire broke out in the second floor Saturday night.

No one was injured. The owner, Jules Musing, a pharmaceutical executive, had moved his family from Boston into the spacious home just 13 days previously.

Lt. Mario Musso of the Township police reported this week that the cause of the fire was still being investigated by Township Fire Marshall Ted Cashel, Princeton Fire Chief Ray Bianco, and Ptl. Robert Toole who is the arson investigator for the police department.

Chief Bianco confirmed Tuesday that the cause of the fire is electrical but he added that no determination has been made yet how it actually started. The fire’s origin appears to be an empty space containing only wiring behind a second-floor wall. The 20-year-old house has since been sealed and ruled uninhabitable by the health department.

According to Lt. Musso, Didier Musing, one of Mr. Musing’s two teenage sons, was home alone watching television when he heard an upstairs fire alarm sound shortly before 9 p.m. He went to investigate and saw smoke along the second-floor ceiling. When young Didier attempted to turn on the lights, nothing happened.

He called the family’s Labrador and went outside and walked around the house. When Didier noticed smoke pouring from the pointed eaves, he went next door to a neighbor’s house to call the fire department. A general alarm was sounded at 8:55 and some three dozen firemen from Princeton’s three fire companies arrived on the scene at 9:08. It took two hours to bring the fire under control. Firemen did not leave until 12:22 in the morning.

Apparently, the fire may have smouldered for as long as an hour and a half before its smoke activated the alarm. From its origin, fed by superheated air, the fire spread quickly, engulfing the attic and eaves and wing of the house.

Lt. Musso reported there was severe fire damage to the southeast corner, including some minor structural collapse to the porch area. There were numerous holes in the slate roof where the fire had burned through. One hole measured approximately 10 feet by 20 feet.

In addition, there was severe heat and smoke damage to the attic along the entire length of the home, heat and smoke damage to all the second-floor rooms and water damage to all rooms on the first floor. Furniture, family antiques and several Oriental rugs were ruined by the smoke and water.

Mr. Musing had returned from a trip to New York in time to see his new home gutted. He called the fire a tragedy. Princeton firemen were assisted by the Princeton Junction and Lawrenceville companies. Nearby Kingston Fire Department provided backup.

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