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Three Ocean County Teens Charged with Arson

The probe of a pair of brush fires in Toms River Township turns the heat on three teens who now face arson counts.

Dean M. Fornelius, 18, of South Toms River was charged along with younger teens from Toms River and Beachwood for the blazes that erputed Wednesday in the vicinity of the Silver Ridge Apartments, said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

Authorities are pursuing the arson counts for what they consider “recklessly putting the forest in danger.”

Information from the Prosecutor’s office reveals that two Toms River fire companies and a police unit responded to the blazes about 100 yards apart near the Berkeley Township line, at about 3:46 PM.

Members of the Berkeley Township police, county law enforcement and the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service were summoned to trace the causes and origins.

Arson investigators used global positioning apparatus to map out the dimensions of the blazes while Toms River police gathered descriptions, finding Fornelius a short time later on Highland Parkway in the township.

Investigators said the subsequent probe led them to the two juveniles.

Fornelius also is charged with a third-degree charge of possession of a BB gunand possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River with bail set at $10,000, and no option for release on payment of 10 percent.

The younger suspects were released to their parents.

Collaborating in the probe were Forest Service Fire Warden Brian Corvinus; County Arson Investigators Thomas Haskell and John J. Doran; county Fire Marshalls Bill Gee and Mike Wolfschmidt; Toms River PD Detective Roger Hull; and Berkeley Township PD Detective Scott Stoker.

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