Howell homeowner issued citations after house fire at reported Jewish community center

363 Lanes Pond Road - Photo by Monmouth Co. MLS

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ – It has been reported that a residential home on Lanes Pond Road in Howell caught fire Monday evening, which was being operated illegally as a Jewish Community Center, according to the township. Lakewood Scoop initially reported the fire at the $1.3 million residence as a Jewish community center fire.

The Lakewood Scoop later retracted its headline. Initially, the story was reported as “Breaking: Fire breaks out at Jewish community center in Howell: video.”

Later in the day, the headline was changed to “Firefighters battle blaze in Howell,” but the URL of the article reflected the initial headline.

Residents are breathing a sigh of relief that nobody was injured during the fire but are asking why the township allowed the home to operate as a community center.

Today, township officials said the homeowner would be receiving ‘numerous’ violations from the Code Enforcement Department.

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“Based on investigations that have taken place throughout the night, we anticipate that Code Enforcement will be issuing numerous summonses to the property owner,” the township said in a statement. “We take health safety and welfare issues seriously, and this is no exception.”

Howell Township officials also announced they would seek an injunction to prevent future ‘activities of this sort’.

Officials said they were unaware of the change in use at the residential home and are asking residents to contact the township if they see activities that concern them in their neighborhood.

At this time, police have not stated the cause of the fire. The 7,478-square-foot home was purchased on April 28, 2022 for $1.375 million.