Christmas Eve Fire Leaves Two Families Homeless in Lawrence
Lawrence, Mercer – In a devastating incident that occurred on Sunday, December 24, 2023, two families were tragically left homeless after a raging fire destroyed both sides of a duplex in the Liberty Green development, situated off Lawrence Station Road. The blaze, initially reported at 10:49 a.m., allegedly originated in 299 Fountayne Lane and rapidly spread to the attached home at 301 Fountayne Lane. The fire was first reported as a second-floor bedroom fire, prompting multiple 911 calls due to the towering column of smoke visible from Mercer County’s emergency services dispatching center, located a short distance away on Lawrence Station Road.
The urgency of the situation led to the immediate dispatch of Trenton’s Ladder 4, Hamilton Township’s Engine 10-1, Truck 10-1, and Rescue 10-1, as well as West Windsor Township’s Engine 44 (Princeton Junction), to provide assistance. Upon arrival, the first fire officer on the scene reported heavy fire and smoke emanating from the second floor of 299 Fountayne Lane. Within a short period, the flames had engulfed the roof. Hamilton’s Engine 10-1 and Truck 10-1 were the first fire apparatus to arrive. They promptly secured their water supply from a nearby hydrant and initiated an aggressive interior attack. Two crews of Lawrence firefighters soon joined their counterparts in the fire attack. Subsequently, additional crews from Hamilton, Trenton, West Windsor, and Lawrence arrived on the scene to fulfill various suppression and support roles.
As the fire progressed, portions of the roof of 299 Fountayne Lane collapsed, intensifying the already severe fire conditions on both sides of the duplex. With additional sections of 299 Fountayne Lane at risk of collapsing, the incident commander made the decision to evacuate all firefighters from the structure at 11:10 a.m. Another water supply was established from a nearby hydrant at the entrance to the Liberty Green development, enabling Hamilton’s Truck 10-1 and Lawrence’s Telesquirt 203, along with multiple ground hoselines, to pour water on the flames from above. At one point during the operation, five hoselines were actively flowing water. Following the successful suppression of the bulk of the fire from the exterior and a thorough assessment of the building’s structural stability, firefighters resumed interior operations to extinguish remaining pockets of fire. The blaze was officially declared under control at 11:50 a.m. However, both 299 and 301 Fountayne Lane suffered significant damage as a result of the fire.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and ambulance personnel from Lawrence, West Windsor, and Princeton were present at the scene to provide immediate assistance if necessary. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Lawrence Township Fire Marshal’s office and township police. This incident brings back memories of a similar inferno that destroyed two homes in the 100 block of Fountayne Lane on August 13, 2012.
In light of this tragic event, a GoFundMe campaign has been established to support the family who lost their home. The campaign, titled “Help Kevin & Tammy Hampton Restore Their Lives,” has been verified by a Communications Manager at GoFundMe. Sherrie, a close friend of Kevin and Tammy Hampton, created the fundraiser, explaining that the couple received a devastating phone call while away celebrating Christmas with friends. They returned to find that their home had been completely destroyed, leaving them with only the clothes on their backs and what they had packed for their vacation. With businesses closed on Christmas Eve, the Hampton family faces significant challenges until Tuesday, December 26th. Consequently, Sherrie urges everyone who knows the couple to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign to help them navigate this tragic situation.
To make a donation and support Kevin and Tammy Hampton during this difficult time, please visit the verified GoFundMe page at the following link: [insert link].
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