4 September, 1985
Early Morning Fire Destroys Home on Mount Lucas Road
An early-morning fire Tuesday destroyed a one-story home at 121 Mount Lucas Road.
Two people inside at the time managed to escape without injury, and two fire-men at the scene were later treated at Princeton Medical Center for minor injuries and released. A general alarm was sounded at 5:31.
Princeton Fire Chief Thomas Hagadorn said that it appears the fire was accidental. As for the cause. Chief Hagadorn believes it will remain undetermined because of the extent of the damage. “There’s not a whole lot left to salvage,” he said.
It is possible that an electrical short triggered the fire, he added, but, after an investigation by himself and the County Fire Marshall, Chief Hagadorn stated, “As it stands now, the cause is accidental and it will probably stand that way.” His investigation did reveal, he said, that the fire started in a crawl space above a kitchen-dining area. When firemen arrived at the scene, the entire front of the house was engulfed in flames and flames wen shooting through the roof. The spread of the fire was quite amazing, Chief Hagadorn commented — “At such a rapid rate that I don’t know how it could have been stopped. – After the fire was brought under control — in some 40 minutes — all the firemen could do, he said, was worn about protecting the surrounding structures. He estimated that the fire was completely extinguished by 8 a .m
Why did the fire spread so quickly? Chief Hagadorn said that he didn’t know why but offered, “Perhaps it was the type of construction.”
The house is owned by George and Phyllis Greene. Mr. Greene is an artist and his studio. the George Sears Artists Studio, is located in the house. All his paintings, which Chief Hagadorn reported were valued at between $150.000 and $200,000, were destroyed in the fire. In addition to the house and its contents, a car in a garage was destroyed.
Mr. Greet* was not in the house at the time. According to police. a guest woke up to go to the bathroom. When he stopped in the kitchen to get a drink, he smelled smoke and alerted Mrs. Greene. They fled the house and called police. “It’s lucky he woke up, because there were no smoke alarms in the house,” Chief Hagadorn said. –Police reported that Mrs.
Mr. Greet* was not in the house at the time. According to police. a guest woke up to go to the bathroom. %Then he stopped in the kitchen to get a drink, he smelled smoke and alerted Mrs. Greene. They fled the house and called police. “It’s .lucky he woks up, because thtrel were no smoke alarms in the house,” Chief Hlagadorn said. –Police reported that Mrs.