The early-morning May 26 fire that consumed the long-standing auto dealership building on Route 35 in Hazlet was an accident, said First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office on Saturday.
The cause was "a faulty relay in the battery of a car that the dealership was servicing," said Gramiccioni, in a written statement. He declined further comment.
On that morning, a passerby noticed something at the dealership and called Hazlet Police, according to Hazlet Police Chief James Broderick, who was at the scene on that Saturday. More than a dozen local fire companies, as well as county services and numerous first aid vehicles flooded the area, temporarily closing down Route 35 on a holiday weekend while firefighters on high ladders directed huge hoses of water on the intense blaze.
Read Holmdel-Hazlet Patch's coverage of the fire and interviews with the Buhler family, and see photos from people who witnessed the fire that will be long remembered in the Bayshore.