NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - A North Plainfield man was arrested and charged with arson in connection with the fire that tore through residences on Maple Avenue on Wednesday, authorities say.
Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and North Plainfield Chief of Police William Parenti on Thursday announced the arrest of Jonathan Davies, age 26, Dahlia Terrace, North Plainfield, New Jersey in relation to an arson that occurred on May 27, 2020 on Maple Avenue, North Plainfield, New Jersey.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at approximately 2:40 a.m. North Plainfield Fire Department and North Plainfield Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a residential fire on Maple Avenue, North Plainfield, New Jersey. The fire was a three alarm fire. Fire companies from North Plainfield, Bridgewater/Finderne, Bound Brook, Green Brook, Watchung, Warren, Plainfield and South Plainfield responded to extinguish the residential fire. Emergency medical personnel from North Plainfield, Watchung, Union County Rehab and Dunellen also responded to the scene to render aid. Officers from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist North Plainfield Police in securing the scene.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit along with North Plainfield Police, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Fire Investigation Unit and Fire Officials from North Plainfield responded to the scene to conduct an investigation. As a result of the investigation, the fire has been categorized as suspicious. An origin and cause has not been released by investigators at this time. Three residential structures were damaged with two families being displaced. All of the occupants of the residences were uninjured. One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital and has since been released.
The investigation revealed a male, later identified as Jonathan Davies, in the area of the vacant property, which was currently under construction, at the time the fire was set. The investigation revealed that Davies was observed watching the fire erupt and leaving and re-entering the property multiple times.
As a result of this investigation, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Jonathan Davies was arrested and charged with 2nd degree Aggravated Arson and 3rd degree Aggravated Assault. Defendant Jonathan Davies was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Parenti request anyone with information relating to the fire to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the North Plainfield Police Department at (908) 769-2937 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
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