Authorities: Series of fires in Union County deemed suspicious

Posted: Updated:
LINDEN -

Union County authorities say that they are investigating a series of overnight fires that are considered to be suspicious.

There were eight fires in all – two house fires, a dumpster fire at a middle school and several brush fires. Officials say that all of the fire were started within an hour of each other Thursday night. They say that they are fairly certain that the fires are connected.

“Two buildings can be a coincidence. Eight fires is not a coincidence,” says Linden Fire Chief Joe Dooley.

The worst of the fires was a house located near the intersection of Seymour Avenue and Center Street in Linden. The home was engulfed by the fire and destroyed.

“It was like nothing I've ever seen. Had to be an accelerant. Flames shooting over the other side of street,” says Linden resident Barry Worth.

There was a fire at a doctor’s office and fires near grassy areas and garbage cans. Investigators with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, State Police Arson Unit and ATF are all on scene. Authorities are also asking for the public’s help.

“We have some video from very early in fire. Videos like that are always useful…it's about vigilance and saying to yourself, ‘Boy, something doesn't seem right,’” says Dooley.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead says that these types of incidents should not happen in his town.

“If there is a guy out there - or persons out there who are involved in arson, we should be concerned and treat this as if our lives depend on it, because it certainly could,” he says.

Officials are asking the public to check their home security cameras to see if they caught anything suspicious and to call Linden Police Detective Matt Jones or Tim Hubert at (908) 474-8537 if they have any information.

No one was hurt in any of the fires.

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