Public Officials Hold Briefing in Bound Brook
BOUND BROOK - Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson and her colleagues from the Board of Chosen Freeholders held a joint press conference today with Bound Brook Mayor Robert Fazen and Somerset County Prosecutor Michael J. Robertson to provide an update about the fire that tore through the municipality on Sunday evening and displaced nearly 100 people.
During the briefing, Director Robinson, Mayor Fazen and Prosecutor Robertson all thanked the first responders.
“I want to thank all of the first responders – it is because of your quick response, your diligence and your commitment to this county, that we were able to contain the fire,” said Freeholder Director Robinson. “Our tagline at the county is Making Vibrant Connections - It’s about people coming together and we’re doing just that. From the state to the county to local municipal government and agencies, we’re here for you Bound Brook. And we will continue to be Somerset County strong.”
Mayor Robert Fazen also expressed gratitude to the first responders and to all of the Bound Brook residents who called to volunteer and offer their support. “Bound Brook will rebound and we will rebuild,” said the mayor. The mayor also announced that the developers of both apartment complexes plan to rebuild as soon as possible.
A fire was reported around 7:55 p.m. on Jan. 12 at the Meridia II building located on East Main Street. The Bound Brook Fire Department responded and almost immediately additional alarms were raised. In all, over thirty-six fire companies responded to the scene with over 40 pieces of equipment, including resources from Hunterdon, Middlesex and Morris counties. Other support included eight EMS agencies, 11 ambulances, the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management, 911 Dispatch, Fire and EMS coordinators, Public Works, an Arson Task Force, the Bureau of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the New Jersey State Forestry Service and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.
Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Bound Brook Chief of Police Vito Bet announced an arrest in relation to the seven-alarm fire. Defendant Juan Hector Padilla, 28, was arrested and charged with second-degree aggravated arson and third-degree hindering investigation apprehension and providing false information. Prosecutor’s Office Press Release
“I would like to thank the first responders for their actions the other night. I’d also like to thank all of the collaboration with law enforcement during the investigation. In particular, I’d like to thank the Bound Brook Police Department, along with the Middlesex, Somerset, Union, Hunterdon and Mercer county Prosecutor’s Offices.” The prosecutor also thanked members of the Bureau of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearm and Somerset County Sheriff Darrin J. Russo and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office their assistance.
Also participating in the press conference was Bound Brook Fire Chief Bruce Gorski. Others in attendance included Freeholder Deputy Director Sara Sooy, Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, Freeholder Melonie Marano, Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Bound Brook Councilmen Abel Gomez and Brad Galeta, Deputy Fire Chief Joe Guillia, Assistant Fire Chief Richard Colombaroni, Bound Brook Administrator Hector Herrera and Deputy Administrator Jasmine Mathis.
County and municipal officials held a joint press conference on Jan. 14 to provide an update about a fire that tore through Bound Brook on Sunday night. Speaking at the podium is Freeholder Directory Shanel Y. Robinson. Others participating in the press conference included, from left to right, Sheriff Darrin J. Russo, Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, Freeholder Melonie Marano, Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Freeholder Deputy Director Sara Sooy, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Bound Brook Police Chief Vito Bet.