KEYPORT - The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has filed several charges against a man who was doing some work on a building in Keyport prior to it catching on fire. However, authorities have not yet said if he is responsible for starting the fire.
Witnesses say that they saw a man working on the roof of the building just prior to the fire. Authorities were able to identify him as Andrew Mayer, 28, of Toms River.
Mayer was charged with working without a permit, working without a license and driving without a license, all disorderly persons offenses, according to the prosecutor. He was released on his own recognizance.
News 12 New Jersey has also learned that Mayer is the same person who faces animal cruelty charges in Ocean County after he allegedly drove his truck onto a frozen river in Toms River last year. Mayer’s dog died after the truck fell through the ice and sunk to the bottom.
A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office says that the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The spokesperson says that due to the amount of damage the building sustained during the fire, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause.
Three buildings were damaged after the fire broke out on West Front Street Friday afternoon. Nine people, including eight firefighters, were hospitalized due to injuries they suffered in the fire. All are expected to be OK. Several pets perished in the fire.
The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are helping some residents displaced by the fire.