Somerset County Freeholder Director Promises Aid For Bound Brook; Arson Suspect Arrested

Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson speaks during the January 14 press conference on the Bound Brook fire.

In the wake of news of an arrest in the massive January 12 Bound Brook fire that destroyed nearly two blocks, the Somerset County Freeholder Director promised the county’s help in the borough’s rebuilding efforts.

The fire, which burned for about 4.5 hours before it was declared under control, destroyed two apartment buildings under construction on Main Street, as well as damaging homes and businesses on both sides of the street.

Fire fighters from throughout the township were among the more than 30 fire companies from Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon and Middlesex counties who responded. More than 40 pieces of apparatus responded, said Bound Brook Fire Chief Bruce Gorsky.

Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson announced at an afternoon press conference on January 14 that a 28-year-old Bound Brook man has been arrested in connection with the fires. The man was charged with 2nd Degree Aggravated Arson and 3rd Degree Hindering Investigation Apprehension/False Information, according to the prosecutor.

Robertson said that videos gathered from surrounding buildings aided in capturing the suspect.

The suspect is being housed in the Somerset County Jail, Somerville, pending a detention hearing, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Also attending the press conference were, among others, township residents Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson and Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo.

Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo, left, at the press conference.

Robinson said County departments were on-hand immediately to offer aid to those who were displaced by the fires.

“Social Services was helpful from the beginning, trying to find them temporary shelter, and the county provided the transportation to the residents to make it to Warren County,” she said.

Robinson also said that county personnel will help residents fill out whatever grant forms they may have.

“Something as catastrophic as this, we want to make sure that they have access to the services that we provide,” she said. “We want to help them navigate.”

The fire investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about teh incident is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Bound Brook Police Department at (732) 356-0800 or make a report via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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