Karen Vincentini was making dinner when she received a frantic phone call stating that her second home in Lacey was up in flames.
Leaving the door to her primary residence open and the meal cooking, she immediately made her way to the Capstan Drive home, unable to reach it as the Lanoka Harbor and Forked River Fire Departments blocked the road, she said.
According to police communications, a call came in for a “fire through the roof,” at approximately 4:47 p.m.
"No flames were showing but smoke was pouring out the vents," said Jack Amrozewicz, Chief of the Lanoka Harbor Fire Department.
The fire departments went through the front and back doors with a line, he said. The blaze was located by the Forked River Fire Department in a rear utility room.
The home, which already sustained severe water damage due to Hurricane Sandy, was originally being rented. Now uninhabitable, the renters decided to find another place to live, Vincentini said. Although Vincentini’s husband has been working on the home since the superstorm, it was vacant at the time of the fire.
“What can you do, no one got hurt,” Vincentini said, shrugging. “There are people who are worse off, who don’t have a home to live in.”
Despite the hurricane and blaze, the house still stands, she said, although unaware of the extent of damage.
“If it has to be demolished, there’s already a Dumpster there,” she said.
Neither of the neighboring homes sustained damage, Vincentini said.
Vincentini moved into the home with her parents in 1972 and lived there for approximately nine years before moving into another Lacey home with her husband. Her parents and grandparents have since died, she said.
“It was kind of the only thing I had left,” she said, adding that the house carried countless memories.
The cause of the blaze is currently unknown, Vincentini said.
The fire is under investigation by Lacey Police and the Ocean County Fire Marshal's Office.