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Arrest made in 'disastrous' Bound Brook, NJ blaze that destroyed buildings, displaced dozens

bound brook fire, juan padilla.jpg
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 22:25:48-05

BOUND BROOK, N.J. — Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the massive fire in Bound Brook, New Jersey that destroyed multiple buildings and left many displaced.

Juan Hector Padilla, 28, was taken into custody and faces second-degree aggravated arson an third-degree hindering investigation apprehension/false information in connection to the massive blaze, authorities announced Tuesday.

Authorities responded to the Meridia II building along East Main Street and Mountain Avenue just before 8 p.m. Sunday. Due to the heat and wind, the blaze spread quickly throughout the building and to adjacent buildings along Main Street, according to Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

On top of the two large apartment buildings gutted, officials said a rooming house next door and an electronics shop nearby were also destroyed by the massive blaze.

The fast-moving fire, that caused suspensions along the NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line, took about four hours to be put under control, authorities said.

One firefighter suffered a minor ankle injury while working to battle the blaze, fire officials said.