Nicholas Joyce, 19, a volunteer Fair Haven firefighter, was charged with second degree Aggravated Arson on Saturday after an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fair Haven Police Department indicated that he started a shed fire behind the United Methodist Church on Friday afternoon, according to an announcement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
The Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Department responded on Friday, April 1, 2016, around 4:28 p.m., to a report of a fire at the United Methodist Church located at 300 Ridge Rd. Upon arrival on scene, the fire was located in the exterior rear of a shed located on church property. The shed belongs to a local Boy Scout troop and contains property and supplies for that organization. Responding firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was contained to the exterior of the shed.
Investigators believe that Joyce started the fire and then returned to the firehouse to respond to the blaze with the rest of his company.
If convicted of Aggravated Arson, Joyce faces up to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison, subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), requiring he serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Joyce was released from custody after posting $500.00, 10% of the bail amount set by Fair Haven Municipal Court Judge James Berube.