A garden tool is being blamed for a wind-whipped fire that destroyed two houses along Kettle Creek in the Bay Harbor section of Brick.

The fire on Bay Way on the afternoon of Sept. 28 was spread to the upper level of an adjoining house by southwest winds gusting to 25 mph. The occupant of the house was using a handheld torch to burn away weeds that started the fire, according to Brick Bureau of Fire Safety Chief Kevin C. Batzel.

"She did not know she had ignited the combustibles around her home. She was working on another portion of the home doing similar remediation of weeds so she didn't know the house was on fire," Batzel told New Jersey 101.5.

Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick
Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick (Ocean Fire Company)
Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick
Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick (Ocean County Sheriff's Office)

A passerby told her the other side of the house which was already starting to spread to the deck. The flames quickly jumped to the siding then the roof, according to Batzel.

A firefighter suffered a minor burn and was treated by EMS at the scene.

After the initial fire was knocked down, firefighters monitored potential hot spots that could have reignited.

Batzel credited the departments from surrounding communities for preventing the fire from spreading even more.

Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick
Fire at a house on Bay Way in Brick (Lakewood Scoop)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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