A 60-year-old woman and her 6-year-old child escaped a fire that caused major damage to their Upper Township home Thursday night, officials said.

The blaze started around 10:40 p.m. Thursday at the home on the 500 block of Route 50, according to the Upper Township Rescue Squad. Smoke alarms activated and woke up the mother and child up so they could get out of the house.

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Emergency responders from the Upper Township Rescue Squad, Belleplain Emergency Corps and Tuckahoe, Seaville and Marmora fire departments responded to the scene. At that time the dwelling had heavy fire showing from the exterior, the rescue squad said in a news release.

Route 50 was shut down from Route 610 to Tyler Road for several hours as crews fought the fire. A dog and two cats died in the blaze.

The woman and child were evaluated and released to family members. Officials did not immediately say what caused the fire.

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