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RIO GRANDE - Multiple occupants were forced from a Rio Grande residence when an early morning fire broke out on the second floor.

The blaze was reported at approximately 5:50 a.m. March 13, Rio Grande Fire Chief Richard Sweeten said. Crews arrived at the 100 block of Holly Drive and found the fire emanating from the home's attic and second-floor balcony.

Rio Grande firefighters received assistance battling the blaze from the Green Creek Fire Department, and crews from the Erma Fire Department served as a rapid intervention crew, according to Rio Grande Fire Department's Facebook page.

Firefighters were on scene for about one hour and a half.

Middle Township police first arrived on scene and found the second-floor's tenants, two adults and a 4-year-old, evacuated the home safely. Officers helped evacuate two occupants, Frederick Hofstetter, 83, and Susan Hofstetter, 72, and a dog from a separate portion of the home that wasn't affected by the fire at the time, Sweeten added.

No injuries were reported. A Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation determined the fire was accidentally caused by a cigarette butt left on the second-floor balcony, Middle Township police said, in a release.

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