News Department

Warren County man charged with aggravated arson

PHILLIPSBURG, NJ (Warren County) – A Warren County man has been charged following four fires Saturday night in Phillipsburg, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

Alfredo Gomez, also known as Kevin Chavez, 20, of Phillipsburg was charged with second-degree aggravated arson, authorities said.

On July 24, 2021 between approximately 12:03 a.m. and 12:27 a.m., the Phillipsburg Police responded to four fire reports in the area of Sitgreaves Street and South Main Street, authorities said.

As the result of four fire calls being simultaneously received by the Phillipsburg Police Department they quickly implemented the mutual aid agreement between the local municipal Police Departments which lead to the quick arrest of Gomez, authorities said.

The Pohatcong Police Department responded and with the description and information provided by Phillipsburg police, the Pohatcong police officer responding to the reported fire at the St. Phillips and St. James School parking lot observed Gomez as they were approaching the scene, authorities said.

“The quick action on behalf of the Phillipsburg Police Department lead to the immediate arrest of the suspect,” prosecutor’s office said.

The following four fires are currently under inveisgation investigation:

  • Reported 12:03 a.m. 102-104 Sitgreaves St. A piece of lawn furniture was lit on fire and placed under the door handle in the entrance to the building. The building was not damaged.
  • A Nissan, parked at rear lot of 459 S. Main St. (next to River of Life Church). The vehicle sustained damage to the body of the vehicle.
  • A home at 471 S. Main St. The structure is a private residence. Minimal damage was sustained in the back wall.
  • A Honda Pilot, St. Phillips and St. James School parking lot. Reported at 12:27 a.m. The vehicle sustained body damage.

Gomez was charged related to the fourth fire and transported to Warren County Jail. His first appearance in Warren County Superior Court pending an application for Pre-Trial detention followed by the Prosecutor’s Office. That motion is preliminarily scheduled to occur on Wednesday, July 28, prosecutors office said.

This offense carries a maximum of ten years in the New Jersey State Prison and up to a$150,000.00 fine.

The investigation continues and additional charges may follow, authorities said.

“This is an excellent example of how the Municipal Mutual Aid agreement between law enforcement departments is meant to be effectively utilized. The teamwork envisioned by the agreement was on full display in this case. Phillipsburg immediately recognized the need for additional aid and it was immediately provided by Pohatcong Township. As the Warren County Prosecutor I am proud of the team work displayed by our local municipal law enforcement departments. The quick decision making by Phillipsburg and the immediate aid provided by Pohatcong Township resulted in a quick arrest of the suspect,” prosecutors office said.

The investigation was conducted by the Phillipsburg Police Department, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office with the aid of the Pohatcong Township Police Department.

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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