UPDATE: Gas Leak Suspected in Destructive Laurel Springs Fire

Fire destroys a home on West Brookline Drive, in Gloucester Township's Laurel Springs section, early Friday.

UPDATE 11:22 a.m. 12/21: Investigators believe a gas leak caused an explosion that sparked the destructive fire at 35 W. Brookline Dr. early Friday.

No one was injured in the fire.

Eight nearby Broadmoor West homes were evacuated as a precaution Friday morning, according to Gloucester Township Police Deputy Chief David Harkins.

It could take up to eight hours for South Jersey Gas to clear the residents to return to their evacuated homes, Harkins said around 10:15 a.m.

Tax records list John and Nancy Colaianni as the owners of 35 W. Brookline Dr.

The Colaiannis were home with their two adult daughters when they heard an explosion in the basement, Harkins said. They were able to escape uninjured before the fire consumed their two-story residence.

The only things still standing after the fire were the home's two-car garage and fireplace.


Original article, as published at 9:04 a.m. 12/21

An early morning fire leveled a home on West Brookline Drive, in Gloucester Township's Laurel Springs section, on Friday.

No one was injured in the two-alarm blaze that reportedly drew nearly 60 firefighters from central Camden County.

Preliminary investigation indicates the fire to be non-suspicious in nature, according to Gloucester Township Police Lt. Mike Harkins.

The fire was reported shortly after midnight.

The initial call came in at 12:07 a.m. as an alarm activation. Within minutes, Gloucester Township Police Department's dispatch center was receiving calls of a house on fire, Harkins said.

First-arriving police officers found heavy fire coming from the West Brookline Drive home and confirmed the four residents had safely escaped from the residence.

Due to heavy fire conditions and strong gusts, firefighters used large-diameter water streams to protect adjacent dwellings as police evacuated the nearby homes.

American Red Cross responded to the fire scene to provide assistance to the displaced residents.

While firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the home where it originated, two adjacent homes sustained minor exterior damage, Harkins said.

The fire remains under investigation by the Chews Landing Fire Marshal, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Arson Investigation Unit and the Gloucester Township Police Department.


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