An elderly man living in a seaside New Jersey home and his visiting son were killed in a quick-moving fire late Monday night, officials say.
Mark Oberschewen and his father William died after flames ripped through the 00-year-old house in Belmar at about 9:30 p.m. Monday. Neighbors reported seeing flames shoot up windows on both floors and through the doors.
Mark was a father of two, and stayed at the home at 225 14th Ave. twice a week to visit his father, who had difficulty getting around.
"He was great with the kids, always laughing, having a great time," said neighbor Kris Crescenzo. "He loved his kids, they loved him."
"He was such a gentleman," added Cynthia Kudron. "He father was great."
"One of the greatest guys you'll ever meet," said neighbor Tom Swarles. "Would give you the shirt off his back, wouldn't even think twice about it."
Tragic fire in Belmar tonight on 14th Ave-2 fatalities. Belmar, Avon, Spring Lake, Wall, & Neptune FD did a great job responding. Heroes.— Matt Doherty (@mattdohertynj) August 16, 2016
The house was a rental, renovated a couple of years before Sandy. Town records show no violations, but the speed at which flames raced through -- even before firefighters could arrive -- serves as a warning to others in the community, where many homes date back to the early 1900s.
"With some of these older homes, when you have wood slabs and not fire-rated sheet rock, a fire can move very quickly," said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.