Firebug Making Work For Police, Firefighters

June 20, 1995 (~estimated)

Firebug Making Work For Police, Firefighters

A series of dumpster fires in the same neighborhood had police and firefighters jumping last week. In a little over 48 hours, four different dumpster fires were reported, all within a few blocks of the intersection of Nassau and Charlton streets.

The first fire was reported at 10:46 p.m. on Sunday evening. A burning dumpster behind the University apartments at 110 Prospect Avenue was extinguished by the University’s Department of Public Safety, but the Princeton Fire Department responded anyway, and soaked the area with water to prevent re-ignition of the blaze.

Less than an half an hour later, at 11:15 p.m., the fire department was called to extinguish a dumpster burning behind the Woodrow Wilson School on Prospect Avenue.

One the blaze was extinguished, firefighters found a can of Sterno camp fuel in the dumpster. It was not known if the Sterno had been used to set the fire.

Thirty minutes later, the third fire of the evening was reported. At 11:45 p.m., the call went out that there was a dumpster burning behind a building at 264 Nassau Street.

The third fire proved to be the most serious, causing damage to a fence near the dumpster.

Monday evening began quietly, but at 12:10 a.m. another call come through to the fire department. A fourth dumpster, this one in the rear of the lot at 245 Nassau Street, was on fire.

The fire was extinguished and no incendiary devices were found, said police.

Because of the similarity of the fires in time, form, and location, said Borough Police Captain Peeter J. Hanley, officers are “looking at the possibility that they are connected.”

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