July 3, 2018

Cause Still Undetermined For Three-Alarm Fire On Sergeant Street

By Anne Levin

A three-alarm fire that broke out early Saturday morning at Markham Square, a group of townhouses on Sergeant Street, caused no injuries to residents or firefighters but caused major damage to three of the eight homes in the development.

“It appears as if it started on the balcony of one of the units,” said Bob Gregory, director of emergency services for the Princeton Fire Department. “They are still trying to figure out what happened. It got up into the eaves under the roof, and it got there pretty quick. Three of the units sustained heavy fire and smoke damage.”

Gregory said Monday that adjacent units were being assessed. “One or two had slight smoke damage, and the rest of them were not bad at all,” he said. “They had to shut down the electric, so people had to leave over the weekend. Today, electricians are taking a look to make sure it’s okay to re-energize.”

The first alarm came in at 5:09 a.m., and the first unit responded “within eight to nine minutes,” Gregory said. Since the fire was three alarm, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is now involved. “But there is nothing suspicious and no arson was involved,” he said.

It took about 40 minutes for firefighters to pull down some of the ceilings and make sure the fire was completely out. Residents of the units that were not heavily affected will hopefully be able to return once the electrical inspector determines it is safe.

“The other three, the roofs are pretty much burned off,” said Gregory. “It’s pretty devastating.”