They're not yet calling it "arson," but Jackson Township police have developed a description of a suspect in connection with about a half-dozen fires that broke out in the township Monday night.

Fire Engine (Townsquare Digital)

According to information on the Jackson PD Facebook page, witnesses described a white male in his late 30s or early 40s, possibly with facial hair, clad in a dark baggy sweatshirt and pedaling a BMX-style bicycle.

The incidents began with response to a pile of burning leaves on Rachel Court at 7:05 PM. Three minutes later, another leaf pile was found ablaze on East Pleasant Grove Road. At 7:14, another officer was dispatched to a call of more burning leaves on the same street. A brush fire was reported at Perrineville Road and Beatrice Lane at 7:52. A minute later, a caller reported a brush fire on Willys Lane, near Perrineville Road, police said.

Things grew quiet until 10:11 PM, when police found a barn at the Six Flags Safari attraction fully engulfed in flames, authorities said. Firefighters needed about an hour to quell the flames but no animals were hurt, according to police and theme-park officials  A reporter in an overhead helicopter noted several nearby small blazes that firefighters also tended, police said.

Ocean County investigators called in to probe the Six Flags incident see no direct link to the earlier fires, according to a spokesman in County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato's office. Jackson police are tending the investigation of the leaf fires.


Anyone with information that can help lead to the arrest and conviction of a suspect should contact Jackson PD Detective Scott Conover at 732-833-3010 or 732-928-1111.