Custodian’s Discarded Cigarette Started Fire That Burned Down New Jersey School

A custodian discarded an unfinished cigarette into a trash can at a New Jersey elementary school, starting a fire that burned down the building, reports NBC New York.

The custodian, Jerome Higgins, was charged with smoking inside the James Monroe Elementary School in Edison, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The charge is a petty disorderly offense.

Firefighters Battle Flames at New Jersey Elementary School

Higgins told NBC New York it was “clearly an accident.”

“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “I would do anything for those kids.” 

The flames broke out at the front and rear of the school just before 8 p.m., officials said. Firefighters from several New Jersey towns battled intense winds for three hours until the fire was brought under control. 

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