Updated: Society Hill Condominium Fire Claims One Life, Forces Dozens Out Of Homes

A fire broke out in this downstairs unit on Gregory Lane, in the Society Hill development.

Update: A 73-year-old woman was killed Aug 13 when fire ripped through her Society Hill condominium, authorities said.

Maria Cisyk of Gregory Lane was found by firefighters after they were able to enter her first-floor condominium, according to a press release from the Franklin Township Police. Preliminary results from an autopsy showed that she died from smoke inhalation according to the release.

An investigation into the fire pointed to it being accidental and having started in the kitchen, according to the release.

First 9-1-1 calls on the fire came in to township police at about 9:31 p.m., according to the release. Patrol units reported seeing heavy smoke and flames coming from the condo.

After several neighbors told police they believed Cisyk was still in her home, police tried to enter but were rebuffed by the smoke and flames, according to the release.

Firefighters could not get into the condo until the fire was extinguished, according to the release.

Four other condominiums suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage and were deemed uninhabitable, according to the release. Those residents are staying with family or friends.

The fire is still under investigation by detectives from the FTPD, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Franklin Township Office of Fire Prevention.

Firefighters from Franklin Park, Middlebush, Griggstown, Little Rocky Hill, Rocky Hill, Community, Somerset Fire and Rescue, North Brunswick and Kendall Park responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.  Emergency Medical personnel from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Kendall Park First Aid Squad were also on scene, according to the release.


Original Story: One person died and dozens of others were forced out of their homes in a late-night fire Aug. 13 in Society Hill.

The fire broke out after 9 p.m. in a downstairs condominium in a multi-unit building on Gregory Lane.

The fire burst out of the unit’s front windows, spreading up on the outside of the building, bypassing the second floor and engulfing the attic.

Burned and partially-melted siding could be seen hanging from the building’s facade in some spots, while in others, the fire completely melted the siding, exposing the wooden walls.

The victim was not identified, but a neighbor said a woman lived alone in the unit from which a body was removed shortly before 2 a.m.

Utilities were turned off for the entire tw0-story building, which holds about 24 condos. The building’s residents were not allowed to stay in their homes.

The fire was largely knocked down within about two hours, but firefighters were still extinguishing “hot spots” at about 2:30 a.m.

Among the fire departments responding to the call were Franklin Park, Griggstown and East Brunswick. Somerset County EMS and Fire Services were also on hand, as were investigators from the Somerset County Prosecutors Office and township police.

This is a developing story; more information will be added as it becomes available.

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