Firefighters battled a blaze at the Covered Bridge 55 and over community in Manalapan believed to have started by lightning during Monday morning's heavy thunderstorm.


A preliminary investigation by Monmouth County Fire Marshall Rick Hogan indicates lightning hit the back left of the roof at 112 Amberly Drive. The fire spread quickly to adjoining units.

An official on the scene said everyone was out of the building.

"It was terrible, a terrible sight," said Rae D'Amico, a resident who lives across the street from the blaze. The incident began between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m., according to D'Amico.

"I've never heard lightning like that!" D'Amico exclaimed.

She said the local fire department took about 15 minutes to show up.

"They came in droves, though," D'Amico said.

At 10:15 a.m., a resident said the fire was "pretty well contained."

Ilya Hemlin contributed to this story.

Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media