1 December 1982
Firemen lose the battle
HOME GUTTED BY FIRE On Mt. Lucas Road. A general alarm fire gutted a two-story home at 350 Mt. Lucas Road early Sunday afternoon, leaving its five tenants–none of whom was home at the time-homeless.
Police received several calls from neighbors reporting the fire shortly after 1 p.m. Firemen from all three Princeton volunteer companies battled the fire, which started in the rear of the house, and were at the scene several hours.
Township Police Chief Anthony Pinelli described the wood-frame house, owned by Robert Rivers of 21 Green Street, as a total loss. Chief Pinelli commented that following an investigation by police and fire officials, it appears as if the fire started after one of the tenants emptied some ashes from a wood- burning stove used to heat the house in a receptacle not far from the stove. He said the stove was eight to 10 feet from the rear of the house.
Chief Pinelli added that the tenant had taken most of the coals outside the house in a metal bucket but there were a few left over and these he placed in the receptacle, apparently thinking they were not hot.
Three of the tenants are Princeton University Graduate School students: Cheryl Eschback and Stephen Lazar, both students in the politics department, and Tom Crowley, a student in the physics department. The other two are Kathleen O’Leary, a chemist employed
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in a New York University lab and Michael Casserly, who is unemployed.
Miss Eschback reported that she had lost research she had done for several course papers and all her books, which she said were probably worth several thousand dollars.
Firemen lose the battle despite the efforts of the three Princeton fire companies, this Mount Lucas Road home was gutted on Sunday afternoon. The house, which was rented, was a home to fiver people. Fire officials gave no determination on the cause of the blaze. For the story see page 2A.
(Michael Bonotto photo)