January 3, 2018

Griggs Farm Fire Kills One Woman, Displaces 35 Residents of Complex

By Anne Levin

A two-alarm fire that started Wednesday night, December 27, on the top floor of a three-story apartment building at the Griggs Farm complex on Billie Ellis Lane, took the life of a 73-year-old woman and displaced 35 residents. Larisa Bartone, who lived at 21 Billie Ellis Lane, died in the fire. An investigation into the cause of the blaze was ongoing at press time last Friday.

The Princeton Police Department, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and multiple fire departments from the area responded to the scene. It was brought under control in about 45 minutes, said Robert Gregory, director of Princeton’s Office of Emergency Management.

The building has 24 apartments and is one of several that are part of the Griggs Farm development, which provides affordable housing and is managed by Princeton Community Housing. The complex is near the border of Princeton and Montgomery Township.

The American Red Cross and Princeton’s Human Services department were assisting the residents, some of whom spent Wednesday night at the Nassau Inn. The Human Services department organized a list of items people can donate to help the victims, and those items can be dropped off at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The list includes gift cards to local restaurants; warm clothing such as jackets, gloves, hats and scarves; toiletries; blankets; dog and cat food; snacks; and water.

To make a monetary gift, visit the Princeton Community Housing website at princetoncommunityhousing.org.