By John Burton
FREEHOLD – Authorities suspect a faulty exterior electrical connection may have been the cause of a four-alarm fire, that engulfed a Union Beach business, and where a local volunteer firefighter died from a heart attack Sunday night.
The cause of the fire at Hydrair, Inc. on Union Avenue remains undetermined. Investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Monmouth County Fire Marshals Office said they were unable to rule out an electrical failure from a broken wire to the location’s main electrical feed as the possible cause, according to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office.
The origin of the fire has been placed at the site’s rear entrance, authorities said.
Robert Meyer, 54, of Union Beach’s Union Hose Fire Company No. 1, died of a heart attacked suffered at the fire scene. Meyer was taken to Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel, where he was pronounced dead at 7:17 p.m., Sunday. The results of the postmortem investigation by the county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be cardiac arrest, the prosecutor’s office said.
Four other firefighters were taken to the hospital as a precaution with all four treated and released.
The Union Beach fire department received assistance from Middletown, Hazlet, Keyport, Holmdel, Keansburg and Red Bank departments.
Anyone with any information about the fire is urged to contact detective John Liebfried at the prosecutor’s office at 800-533-7443 or Union Beach Police detective Chris Tuberion at 732-264-0313.