MANCHESTER — Lightning is being blamed for a house fire that killed several pets on Wednesday afternoon.

The fire in the single-story house at 318 Beckerville Road in the Whiting section of the township was reported about 2:50 p.m. and was fully engulfed in flames when officers arrived, according to police.

Investigators said lightning struck the side of the house, police said.

Officers determined that no one was inside the house but the blaze killed two cats, a bird and several reptiles, police said.

Red Cross New Jersey responded to assist the residents, who were able to find temporary shelter with nearby acquaintances.

The property is shared by J&R Kennel. Police spokesman Todd Malland told New Jersey 101.5 the kennel was unaffected by the fire.

House fire sparked by lightning in the Whiting section of Manchester (Manchester Police)

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

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