Lakewood, NJ Rooming House Fire, Nov 1965

Fear 5 Die In Rooming House Fire.

LAKEWOOD, N. J. (AP) – Swiftly-moving flames engulfed a three-story rooming house before dawn Thursday. Police and firemen recovered three bodies and said they believed two more were in the ruins.
Fifteen people fled, most of them wearing their nightclothing.
The masonry structure, known as Irvington Lodge, was used as a dormitory for people connected with the Irvington hotel and motel two blocks away.

Police credited a passing volunteer fireman, AL KESSLER, with preventing greater loss of life.

Enters Building
He spotted the flames and entered the building, where he awoke Co-owner DANIEL SCHOENFELD'S family and MARTIN ROTHENBERG'S family in their first floor apartments. SCHOENFELD and his wife and four children and ROTHENBERG and his wife and three children fled moments before the fire destroyed their quarters.

Police said nine hotel employes[sic] or entertainers were also in the building.

The origin and quick movement of the fire mystified authorities.
Police drove past only two minutes before the alarm and saw nothing. A fire company was at a restaurant a block away, drinking coffee after answering another alarm in the neighborhood.

Firemen said they came out of the restaurant about 3 a. m. and saw a red glow in the sky above the lodge. Within minutes it was engulfed in flames.

Three Hours
Some 150 firemen from Lakewood and Toms River fought the flames for about three hours. The inside of the structure was burned out.
Police said nearby residents turned in the alarm after hearing a woman's screams in the building.

They said a car was set afire a block from the hotel 45 minutes before the lodge blaze was discovered. They had not determined any connection.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette Iowa 1965-11-25