In the early hours of Tuesday May 31, 2016 we were alerted by the property managers of 236 Washington St. Toms River, NJ that our headquarters suffered a devastating fire. The historic building, known as the Birdsall House was erected in 1868 and served as our headquarters for the non-profit Hometown Heroes over the last 2 years. Fire crews are still on the scene and are currently demolishing what is left of the structure for fear of imminent collapse. As the fire started in the early hours of the morning, the building was unoccupied and no injuries were reported.
There was one fire related injury to a firefighter that suffered a bloody nose after getting hit with water during the attack on the flames. This is the 2nd time the Hometown Heroes offices have burned down in the last 2 years. On May 15th 2014 the Hometown Heroes headquarters suffered a similar fire where all contents were lost. Hometown Heroes subsequently moved into the offices at 236 Washington St Toms River and started the process of recovering.
Hometown Heroes, established in 2008 has been able to serve over 10,000 people in over 2,500 families with issues relating to things like homelessness, illness, Hurricane Sandy and ironically fire and loss. We are very proud of the work we have accomplished over the last 7 and a half years and plan to continue servicing the community once we are back on our feet. “We are saddened and in shock about the loss of our building. We still have not recovered fully from the loss we suffered 2 years ago. The communities we serve were an instrumental help in getting us back on our feet in 2014. I can only hope we will see the same generosity come forward as we can use all the help we can get at this time” said, Mike Schwartz, founder and President of Hometown Heroes.