Historic  Victorian-Styled  mansion  Destroyed  By  Fire
The Tomb's House, better known to some as "the big White House down the Bay" fell victim to an early morning fire Wednesday, March 9, 2005. It is called the Tomb's house for its owner Peggy Tombs, whose aristocrat husband built it for her on the Sewaren Waterfront in the 1890's as a Summer retreat.
Her second husband opened up the Tomb's lamp shade factory in the building adjacent to the house. The Lampshade factory is now the home of Associated Restaurant Supply. The owner of Associated restaurant supply purchased the house in the 1990's and the house was converted to a 5-family dwelling. 
At approximately 4:29 a.m., Woodbridge Police started receiving phone calls to 350 Cliff Road in the Sewaren section of a structure fire. Soon, calls came in from the neighborhood and even far away as New York City.
Members from the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire company arrived on scene and began an interior search for any possible victims trapped inside. Crews on the engines deployed hand lines utilizing tank water to fight the fire in the 3 story building. Weather conditions made it even harder to work, as temperatures were freezing and Ice & snow covered the area. What made the fire spread so quickly was the fact that the house was aged and the wood supporting it was likely dry. There were also high winds which also added fuel to the fire. Within minutes additional units were called in for Hydrant operation to set up a water supply and manpower to help firefighters fight the large blaze. 
Unfortunately the fire was too heavy and spread through all portions of the house. The large looping porch, one of many architectural features the house was noted for, started collapsing with walls on the "A" &  "C" exposures.
An evacuation alert was initiated for all interior firefighters to exit the building.
A resident of the house started a fire in a fireplace at around 12:30 a.m. and put it out around 3:00 a.m. It is possible the fireplace and chimney had a leak, which caused burning inside the walls.   
The photos I took were at 8:00 a.m., approximately 3 1/2 hours after the fire began.

- Port Reading's 2-2 Engine serving a water relay -

- Hopelawn's Cascade truck stands by to Re-fill O2 bottles. -

- Sayreville's Engine stands by in staging, the Township Boat ramp parking lot. -

- Township Emergency Management bus, in case mass evacuations are neccesary. -

- Engine 1-11 plugged into hydrant Ferry & Alley, with burnt house in Background. -

- Captain/Lieutenant's command vehicle. -

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