EDISON - Students from James Monroe Elementary School resumed classes today at their new temporary home after a fire destroyed their school building.

All 450 students are attending classes at Middlesex County College, which is providing space for the entire school to stay together.

"They are welcome to stay here for as long as they need to," says school president Joann Laperla-Morales.

The district is reportedly in talks to use the vacant St. Cecelia School in Iselin while the James Monroe school is rebuilt.

Police say a custodian tossed an unfinished cigarette into a trash can in the janitor's office Saturday evening, sparking the blaze that gutted the 50-year-old school.
Jerome Higgins has been issued a summons accusing him of smoking in a public building, which is a disorderly persons offense. He's been placed on administrative leave.