OCEAN TOWNSHIP, Monmouth County - Two police officers on routine overnight patrol transform into heroes, rescuing four potential victims from a house going up in flames before dawn today.

House fire, 11-07-17 (Ocean Twp. Police Body Cam)
House fire, 11-07-17 (Ocean Twp. Police Body Cam)

Officers Chris Clune and Arthur Barnek braved the flames in the house in Maidenstone Drive, evacuating the owner and her infant and pulling a baby from a crib and a family member from a bedroom while summoning firefighters, police said.

The pair noticed ash in the air and saw distant smoke while traveling Maidenstone at about 3:35 AM. Heading toward increasingly-thick smoke, they saw flames billowing from the back of the house. They rushed toward it and began waking family members.

The owner, holding the baby, told them that another child was still in an upstairs bedroom. Barnek bounded up the steps and took the youngster from a crib, exiting the house as Clune found a sleeping family member in a first-floor bedroom.

Wanamassa and Oakhurst firefighters tamped down the blaze. District Two Fire Marshall Thomas Haege traced the source to an outdoor electrical fixture, embedded in mulch.

Haege's office is continuing the investigation, police said. Authorities declined to identify the residents.

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