What to Know
- A series of “suspicious” overnight and early morning fires in Linden, New Jersey, are under investigation to see whether they are connected
- As 2 house fires were still active, firefighters responded to small brush fires in nearby area, as well as a dumpster fire, police say
- Linden mayor and police department called the multiple fires "suspicious"; No injuries were reported
Federal authorities were called in to assist in the investigation of a series of “suspicious” overnight and early morning fires in a New Jersey community to determine if they are connected, officials say.
Fire crews from neighboring towns were called in to help the Linden Fire Department put out the flames at a house fire Thursday night – the second blaze to break out in the town within mere minutes.
The multi-alarm blaze at a home on Seymour Avenue broke out Thursday around 10:30 p.m., 30 minutes after another fire broke out two blocks away on Wood Avenue.
Video from Chopper 4 following the fire showed charred remains of what once was a dwelling.
Linden authorities had to get mutual aid from three different towns to assist them in putting out the fires.
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead tells NBC 4 New York “the fires are definitely suspicious,” although he did not say it was arson.
No injuries were reported, according to Linden Police Lt. Christopher Guenther, however resident from a neighboring building near the Wood Avenue fire were evacuated, while residents from a nearby home next to the site of the Seymour Avenue blaze were displaced and relocated with the assistance of the American Red Cross.
As both fires were still active, firefighters also responded to a series of small brush fires in the nearby area, as well as a dumpster fire at nearby Soehl Middle School, according to Guenther. Those fires were quickly extinguished and no significant damage was reported.
While it is unclear if the fires are connected, Guenther said, they are considered suspicious and remain under investigation by the Linden Fire Department, the Union County Arson Investigation team, and the Linden Police Department.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is now involved in the large-scale fire investigation because the town needs extra resources in the probe.
Authorities urge anyone with information to contact Linden Police Det. Matt Jones or Tim Hubert at (908) 474-8537.