Police eye arson in fire at prison escapee's hideout

Investigators are looking into a fire at the residence prison escapee Jose Espinosa was captured at as a possible arson.

Espinosa was found at 842 Summer St. Tuesday, only a few blocks from the Union County Jail he and Otis Blunt escaped from in December. Firefighters responded to a fire at the home Saturday morning in the same basement Espinosa had used as a hideout.

Acting Deputy Chief Bob Inderweis of the Elizabeth Fire Department said the fire was brought under control in about an hour.

A resident living on the first floor at the home refused to talk on camera to News 12 New Jersey, but told reporters she jumped out of bed after hearing two bangs in the basement. The flames then spread from the basement and engulfed her first-floor apartment.

Neighbors believe the fire was a response to Espinosa's capture.

"They said his girlfriend kept him in the house," said neighbor Marion Adessa. "Probably it had something to do with her and him."

AP wires contributed to this article.

Related information: Authorities nab one of two wanted in daring jailbreak

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