“The failure of an exterior electrical connection cannot be ruled out as the cause for the fire that ripped through a Union Avenue business Sunday evening where a Union Beach volunteer firefighter died from cardiac arrest,”announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni from Afghanistan where he is ten days into a six month deployment. Gramiccioni is a Lt. Commander in the Naval Reserve JAG Corps.
Union Beach firefighters responded to a 5:56 p.m. report of a structure fire at Hydrair, Inc., located at 615 Union Ave. and upon arrival struck a Second Alarm to bring additional resources to the scene. The fire was eventually elevated to Four Alarms with firefighters from the Middletown Fire Department, North Centerville Fire Department, Hazlet Fire Department, Keyport Fire Department, Holmdel Fire Department, East Keansburg Fire Company, Keansburg Fire Department and Red Bank Fire Department responding.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time, but investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office were unable to rule out an electrical failure due to a broken neutral wire on the exterior main electrical service feed from the service pole to the structure. The origin of the fire has been placed at the rear of the structure located at 615 Union Ave.
“This is a tragedy for the family, firefighters, and the community of Union Beach. I would ask that everyone respect the sacrifice made by Robert Meyer and the privacy of his family and colleagues during this very difficult time,” Gramiccioni said.
“The Bayshore community and Monmouth County residents are mourning the loss of a man who volunteered his time to help those in need. His death is a selfless act that illustrates his dedication to his community,” said Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Marc C. LeMieux.
“Robert Meyer has been a member of Union Hose Fire Company since 2005 and was extremely dedicated,” said Union Beach Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Tuberion , who also serves as the Station Chief of Union Hose Fire Company. “As everyone can imagine, this has been an extremely difficult time for our Company and our Community. We would like to express our condolences to our brothers and sisters at Belford Engine Fire Company in Middletown, where Robert Meyer has been an active member for over 20 years.”
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his wife Linda, and the entire Meyer family,” Tuberion said. “Robert Meyer, ‘Hawk’ as we knew him, was a great friend and he will be greatly missed by our company, this department and our community,”