Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department

Brentwood Road Fire Believed to be Accidental


A Brentwood Road house fire that was reported by a 15-year-old resident and a housekeeper resulted in no injuries, according to the owners of the home.

Chatham Township Police said that upon the arrival of the first police officer, there was visible smoke pouring from the residence and flames could be seen in the rear of the home.

Police said that after speaking with the homeowner and observing visual evidence, fire officials believe that the fire may have started accidently but have yet to confirm the cause. The single family home sustained extensive fire, smoke and water damage.

Jim Pignatello, Sr. of the Chatham Township Police Department said that the flames started in the rear of the house and burned the doorway that led from the back deck into the house.

“It’s all burned, the siding in the back and all the way up to the second floor and the attic,” Pignatello said. “There was quite a bit of fire when we got here.”

Fire departments from the surrounding area extinguished the blaze at 8 Brentwood Rd. on Thursday afternoon at 1:45, about an hour after it was reported. Chatham Township Police Lt. Steven Hennelly said the various departments were able to respond within three minutes of the 12:44 p.m. call and that the fire was quickly brought under control.

The fire, which was at the home owned by Bob and Cheryl Landry, was reported by their 15-year-old son and a housekeeper. The two smelled flames while the boy was in the kitchen and the housekeeper was upstairs, according to the Landrys. They said the housekeeper looked out the winder and saw flames. She then told the boy to call 911.

The two left the house and then called the Landrys.

Pignatello said that “a lot of sheet rock was pulled off the walls” and that the door frame in the back was charred.

“They can’t stay here tonight,” Pignatello said.

Fire departments from Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Green Village, Berkley Heights, New Vernon and Summit responded to the scene. The Chatham Emergency Squad, Chatham Township Police Department and the Colonial Crossroads chapter of the Red Cross also responded. Fire officials remained on scene until all units cleared at 4:15pm, police said.