Woman, 62, Arrested in NJ Arson That Displaced Dozens

The county prosecutor confirmed the arrest of Diane Stiles after identifying her as the suspect behind an arson in Jersey City

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Prosecutors announced the arrest of a woman suspected of intentionally starting a fire that spread to several buildings in Jersey City earlier this month that displaced 33 residents.

The prosecutor's office identified Diane Stiles as the primary suspect in a notice Friday morning asking for the public's help to locate her whereabouts. Several hours later, they said she had been apprehended.

Stiles, 62, has been charged by the Hudson County Regional Arson Task Force with aggravated arson in the June 17 blaze on Neptune Avenue. She lives in Jersey City, but authorities have been unable to locate her thus far.

The late-night fire on Neptune Avenue between Old Bergen Road and Ocean Avenue escalated to four alarms before firefighters were able to douse the flames. First responders encountered fire climbing the outside of a six-family residence.

A second building, another six-family residence, was also damaged, while a third sustained some exterior fire damage, officials say. The blaze was declared under control within an hour and a half, but the destruction had already been done.

No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported. Prosecutors didn't publicly speculate on a motive in announcing Stiles as a suspect on Friday.

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