Overnight fire in Old Bridge NJ leaves a couple dead

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OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (PIX11) -- A tight-knit New Jersey community is mourning the deaths of two neighbors. A couple was found dead in their Harding Road home in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge after a fire broke out around 11:30 Wednesday night. Neighbors say Bob and Barbara Hogan were both 73 years old and married for over 50 years.

“She’s a pillar of the community really,” said friend Samantha Luberto, “She was a drug counselor. I’ve seen her help numerous people. She helped me through hard times and everything like that. I cleaned their house for them. I was actually supposed to go over there tomorrow.”

“They are my family,” said Joan, a neighbor who did not wish to give her last name, "I moved here and we adopted each other. And I’m over there regularly and it’s very sad that they’re gone. Very sad.”

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Old Bridge Police and the fire officials are trying to figure out what started the fire, but they are not labeling it as suspicious.

Investigators said they don’t know if fire detectors were installed in the home. The Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday stated: “Prosecutor Carey reminded residents they should have fire detectors placed in bedrooms and hallways, and should regularly change batteries in the devices.”

Autopsies were being conducted on Thursday. The couple’s official causes of death have not yet been released.

“They didn’t walk that well. They were older. They had a little bit of a failing health,” said Joan.