A fire that ripped through 18 condominiums in Hunterdon County may have been sparked by a discarded cigarette, according to authorities.
The investigation indicates the Nov. 23 fire in Union Township is not suspicious, said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III.
While the cause of the fire remains officially undetermined, Kearns said officials believe the fire started in a bush in front of the Union Gap Village complex, and may have been ignited by a discarded cigarette.
All 18 units in the building suffered significant fire, smoke, and water damage.
High winds appear to have contributed to the fire’s quick spread.
Kearns praised local fire volunteers for their work in extreme weather conditions.
“I commend the dedication and commitment of the volunteer firefighters from Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren counties that fought this fire in extremely cold and windy temperatures," Kearns said. "Their quick response saved lives and prevented more widespread damage to other dwellings. We are very fortunate to have such a fine volunteer system with men and women so willing to put themselves in harms way and brave extreme weather conditions to help others. I would also like to thank the New Jersey state troopers from the Perryville barracks that were the initial first responders.”