There was nobody inside a Middletown home in flames Wednesday as Firefighters arrived but they did rescue 28 pets and brought them to safety as an inferno spread through the residence.

Middletown Township Fire Department Public Information Offer Dennis Fowler said in a statement that crews arrived to the Crystal Court residence around 10 am Wednesday with flames coming from the second floor and back porch.

The people inside the home had already left before firefighters got there but the fire still raged on to a point where First Assistant Chief Waltz requested additional companies be dispatched for additional firefighters and a Rapid Intervention Team to come in and protect firefighters as they fight the fire.

While they were putting out the blaze, the roof collapsed, forcing firefighters to evacuate and find a new way to fight the fire until the home was tenable.

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When they went back in firefighters found and rescued three dogs, four cats, twenty rabbits and one hamster but sadly a couple of the animals later died due to smoke inhalation.

The fire was put out and the utilities were secured by New Jersey Natural Gas, Jersey Central Power and Light and New Jersey American Water.

All together, about 45 members from 6 companies of the Middletown Township Fire Department responded to the call from Navesink, Brevent Park, Belford Engine, Community, East Keansburg and Port Monmouth Fire Companies as did the MTFD Air Unit and the Safety Unit.

No firefighter injuries were reported.

The fire is being investigated by the Middletown Township Fire Marshal’s office.

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