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Man charged with arson after being accused of setting fire to Somerset County home

MANVILLE BOROUGH NJ (Somerset County) – A Somerset County man has been charged after allegedly setting fire to a Manville Borough home, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.

On Monday, May 15, at around 3:43 a.m., police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a residential fire. Members of the Manville Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire, McDonald said.

An investigation was initiated by detectives with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Fire Investigation Unit and Major Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Manville Police Department regarding the cause and origin of the fire. Also assisting with the investigation was the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s office K-9, McDonald said.

The investigation revealed that Paul Basta, 25, of Manville Borough was suspected of intentionally setting fire to the residence, McDonald said.

As a result of this investigation, on Wednesday, Aug. 16 Basta was arrested at his residence and charged with 2 counts of second-degree aggravated arson. he was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing, McDonald said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Manville Police Department at 908-725-1900 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.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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