Western New Jersey

Warren County prosecutor investigates back-to-back fires

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. - Firefighters in Warren County, New Jersey had a busy morning fighting two back-to back fires.

The big question is was it coincidence or something fishy? The Warren County prosecutor is now looking into this.

The fires were less than an hour and a half apart and not even a block apart, both in vacant houses that put other homes and nearby business in harms way.

Fire officials say the smoke in Angela Volkert's home in the 400 block of South Main Street was a symptom of a fire traced back to a vacant building in the same row.

For reasons still unknown, it caught fire just before 4 a.m. forcing Volkert and her three children out of their home and destroying some of their belongings.

"I think people are up to no good," she said.

Just as fire crews were wrapping up the fire there, another one broke out just a few doors down on the opposite side of the ally in the 100 block of Sitgreaves Street.

It's just inches from Marz Bar.

"I was told one of the reasons we were saved, was the fire department had responded to another fire, and I guess there wasn't even call put in and a truck rolled by and saw the flames," said Garrett Henderson, owner of Marz Bar.

The business has water, roof and smoke damage, but firefighters were able to protect his livelihood.

"The fire department actually covered my pool tables, actually went out of their way and tarped up inside the bar, because they saw their water was coming in," Henderson said. "My hats off to all of those guys."

Fire investigators are working with the prosecutor's office as they work toward ruling on a cause.

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