COLTS NECK, N.J. — The bodies of a couple and their two children were found Tuesday afternoon as a deliberately set fire swept through their sprawling estate in the upscale community of Colts Neck, New Jersey, CBS New York reports.
The fire department first got the call at 12:38 p.m., and crews from 20 fire departments took more than four hours to finally bring the blaze under control. Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni said the intense fire damage was "creating some challenges" in the initial investigation.
Authorities downplayed any possible threat to the public at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
"We have no reason to believe that the community is in any danger at this point in time," Gramiccioni said.
He said the body of a man was found outside the home on Willow Brook Road, and the bodies of the other adult and two children were found within. All four were found severely burned.
"We are investigating this as an arson, an intentional fire," said Gramiccioni.
Investigators say there was another fire at a relative of the family's home earlier in the day in nearby Ocean Township. Nobody was injured in that blaze, but investigators had their hands full trying to connect the dots.
"That remains to be seen but that is an option or an angle that we continue to pursue," Gramiccioni said.
He urged anyone with any information to contact authorities.
"Any little bit can constitute a piece of the puzzle that might make things come into a clearer picture," Gramiccioni said.
Police say a firefighter was injured while attempting to extinguish the Colts Neck blaze, but she's expected to make a full recovery.
The identities of the four victims, and the ages of the two children, weren't immediately released.