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Property owner charged after fatal Sussex County house fire

FRANKLIN BOROUGH, NJ (Sussex County) – Thirteen days after a house fire that killed a 13-year-old girl in Franklin Borough, authorities charged the property owner on March 31.

Walter Biller, 48, of Wayne Township was charged following an extensive investigation into the fatal fire on Nestor Street that occurred late in the evening on March 19, 2021, police said.

During the investigation, Franklin Borough detectives along with detectives from the Sussex County Prosecutors Office, determined that Biller, the property owner of 48 Nestor Street, had violated laws intended to protect public health and safety, police said.

It was determined that Biller had not obtained or filed for proper documentation and certifications related to occupancy and fire safety as required by the State and municipalities before completing the lease agreement with the Davenport family in 2019, police said.

Biller received a summons charging a second-degree offense related to this violation because the fire resulted in a fatality. He was released on the summons in accordance with the NJ Bail Reform Act, pending his appearance in Sussex County Superior Court, police said.

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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