Planet Princeton

Senior dies in fire at Griggs Farm development in Princeton (updated)

A 73-year-old Princeton woman died in a fire at the Griggs Farm complex on Wednesday night and 35 others were displaced, police said.

Police identified the victim as Larisa Bartone of 21 Billie Ellis Lane on Thursday morning.

Firefighters battled the two-alarm fire that spread through the roof of the three-story apartment building on Billie Ellis Lane. The fire started around 9 p.m. The victim was trapped in the apartment and died at the scene, first responders at the scene told Planet Princeton.

The American Red Cross and Princeton Human Services continue to assist the displaced residents.

The apartment complex, which provides affordable housing, is owned by the nonprofit Princeton Community Housing.

The cause of the fire has not been determined yet and the investigation is ongoing.

Fire companies from Princeton Fire Department, Lawrence Fire Department, Lawrence Road Fire Department, Princeton Plasma Physics Fire Department, , Kingston Fire Department, Princeton Junction Fire Department, Hopewell Township Fire Department,  Montgomery Fire Department and Plainsboro Fire Department are on scene along with Princeton Police, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Signal 22 Canteen and Capital Health System Paramedics.

The apartment complex at Griggs Farm where a fire killed on person and displaced 35 others. Photo by reader Bill Schultz.

We will provide information on ways to help displaced families as it becomes available. 

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Edith Juarez

    Thanks Martha. I have several things & plan to drop them off.
    Thanks so much!

  • Martha Friend

    Hi Edith! Ive been focused on collecting few specific needs for some of the displaced neighbors but do know Trinity is a drop-off location. Thanks so much!

  • Edith Juarez

    Martha,
    Did you get an answer about the specific sizes? You/others probably know that donations can also be dropped off at Trinity Church- 33 Mercer St.
    Thanks,
    Edith

  • Alexi Assmus

    A single fire start displaced 35 residents and killed one senior. Large multifamily apartment structures should not be built of combustible wood. Large-scale structures should be built of non-combustible concrete, masonry and steel. We learned this in the 19th century. And they need sprinklers too.

    Citizens support NJ fire safety bill S1632/A3770.

  • Alexi Assmus

    For the wood apartment complexes at Griggs Farm reteofitting sprinklers in the attics should make them safer.

  • ddsf

    My God….

  • Melissa Urias

    Hi Martha, Princeton Human Services is collecting donations. We are collecting blankets, gift cards to local restaurants, warm clothing (jackets, hats, gloves), toiletries, snacks, water, and dog & cat food. We are collecting donations until 5 pm today at 1 Monument Drive.

  • moriah akrong

    So far I’ve heard items can be dropped off at the griggsfarm clubhouse !

  • Subuhi and Mustafa

    Hi Moriah, Please let us know where we can donate these (or other) items, we would like to help as well. Many thanks!

    Subuhi

  • Martha Friend

    Wonderful,Moriah! If you have any specifics abt sizes (pass them on) and where would you like donations to be dropped?

  • moriah akrong

    I’ve started collecting toiletries and undergarments and warm clothing donations so far!

  • Martha Friend

    How can we support the displaced families and individuals?

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