Series of Fires Continues

Princeton Packet
13 April 1977

Series of fires continues

The worst series of fires that Princeton Township police chief Frederick Porter says he has ever seen continued in the township this past week.

An estimated half acre of grass was burned by a fire at William F. Coursen’s property, 495 Princeton- Kingston Road. The fire was reported last Saturday, April 16, shortly after noon, after Mr. Coursen’s son Tom accidentally dropped a cigarette into some raked leaves.

On the following day, Sunday, another field fire burned a much smaller area at the A.D. Russell residence on Edgerstoune Road, near Winant Road. The alarm was sounded at 1:13 p.m. and one fire truck with eight men responded. The fire burned a wooded area of about 5,000 square feet and a small wooden pump house. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The on Sunday evening a sports car caught fire at the Magie Apartments, resulting in equipment from all three companies arriving at the scene. The car was found engulfed in flames.

Firemen were unsuccessful in putting out the fire, which was centered in the middle of the car where the engine of the Porsche was located. A tow truck was called to flip the car over to get at the source of the fire.

The owner, Benjamin Gilmare, of 7M Magie Apartments, told police that when he started the car a backfire occurred and then flames appeared near the rear seat. There were no injuries.

The week prior, a large number of fires were reported in the township, including one that destroyed a luxury home just nearing completion of construction on Stuart Road.

Picture caption:

ONLY TWO WALLS and a garage (at left) remain following a fire at a luxury residence that was just nearing completion at the corner of Cherry Hill and Stuart Road. Said to be valued at more than $200,000, it was to be the home of Myer Reback of 8 Rydal Drive, Lawrenceville. It was the worst of seven fires that occurred in Princeton during the prior seven days. A Mercer County fire marshal inspects the ruins.

(Simeon Hunter photo)

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