November 23, 2016

Weekend Fires Damage Two Princeton Properties

Two separate fires on Sunday caused extensive damage to three shops on Witherspoon and Spring Streets and an office building at 601 Ewing Street. There were no injuries reported, according to Princeton Police Lieutenant Chris Morgan.

Fire departments from Princeton and eight surrounding communities responded to a two-alarm fire at 12:57 p.m. on Sunday at the Village Silver Shop, More Cafe, and Sakura Express in downtown Princeton. Witherspoon Street was closed for about two hours. 

The fire, apparently caused by a still lit cigarette butt in a plastic bucket, was extinguished in about an hour, and Witherspoon Street was closed for about two hours. The fire, starting on the steps of More Cafe on the Spring Street side of the building, had burned through the bucket and ignited the floor boards. It spread from the steps to the hallway and the basement.

Additional smoke damage was reported to three apartments on the second floor, and the tenants were displaced. The fire is under investigation by the Princeton fire inspector’s office. In addition to Princeton Fire Department; Lawrenceville, Rocky Hill, Princeton Junction, Plainsboro, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Montgomery, and Kingston responded to the call; with Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, PSE&G, and the municipal fire inspector in attendance.

Another fire occurred earlier that morning at 2:29 a.m. in office building C at 601 Ewing Street. Fire officials, alerted by a smoke detector, arrived to find flames coming from shrubbery on the front side of the building, according to Mr. Morgan. As they attempted to extinguish the fire, they saw more flames inside and extensive smoke in the foyer area.

The Princeton Fire Department С assisted by Hopewell, Montgomery, and Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, with Princeton and Montgomery First Aid and Rescue Squads, PSE&G and the fire official in attendance С extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes, according to Bob Gregory, director of emergency management.

Mr. Morgan reported that the building suffered significant damage and that the incident remains under investigation.

“The police, fire, and first aid workers all did a great job on both occasions,” Mr. Gregory said.