A large home that burned to the ground in a wooded New Jersey neighborhood Wednesday morning was more than a mile from the nearest hydrant, officials said.
First responders were sent to the fast-moving fire on Marseille Terrace in Morganville at about 2:30 a.m., according to Marlboro Township Police.
Hours later, Chopper 4 captured the smoldering, blackened remains of the house, which sat back off the main road.
Robertsville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Brandon Beja said firefighters laid 5,500 feet of hose to reach the nearest hydrant.
Neighbors said homes in the area use well water, and at least a decade ago the town offered to put in water lines, but homeowners would have had to pay a hookup fee of several thousand dollars.
Most rejected the idea. The mayor said Wednesday there were no plans to extend water lines again.
Beja said the access to the home up a narrow, steep driveway was so difficult that he's not sure the outcome would have been different with a hydrant nearby. While the cause of the fire is not yet known, the home's gas line was compromised at some point, fueling the blaze.
--Brian Thompson contributed to this story