Man charged with arson in New Jersey fire that gutted home, spread to 2 others

NORTH PLAINFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with arson in a three-alarm fire that leveled a home under construction and damaged two others in New Jersey Wednesday morning.

The flames broke out around 2:40 a.m. at 185 Maple Avenue in North Plainfield, and video from the scene showed the home engulfed by massive flames that spread to two neighboring homes.

Authorities say Jonathan Davies was seen in the area of the vacant property at the time the fire was set and was observed watching the fire erupt and leaving and re-entering the property multiple times.

He is now charged with second- and third-degree aggravated arson.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured in the fire as the wives in both adjacent homes were awakened as the fire grew and were able to alert their families and get them out safely.

One firefighter was hurt and was taken to Somerset Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

The first home collapsed, while the other two were damaged.

Anyone with more information is urged to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the North Plainfield Police Department at (908) 769-2937. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers' Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All tips will be kept confidential.

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