Still smoldering campfire leads to arson charge

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
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Williamstown, NJ
By Darran Simon
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Pemberton Township man was charged with arson this week after failing to put out a campfire that reignited and burned some 500 acres of Pinelands in Burlington County over the weekend, police said.
Andrew Frake, 32 of the Browns Mills section, was arrested Sunday on the arson charge, Pemberton Township Police said.
Frake started the fire on Friday in a wooded area off Seneca Trail, Country Lakes, where he usually hangs out with friends, police said.
Frake left the area thinking the fire was extinguished, but a log reignited and with the high winds, flames spread to the surrounding forest, police said.
The fire burned between the County Lakes Estate development and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.Firefighters brought the wildfire under control Sunday morning.

When will people learn to pay more attention to no burn effects & careful camp and bonfire usage. Only takes a couple of extra minutes to totally extinguish a fire. Sad
 

Teegate

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I saw him on TV and I have to agree that it was not arson, it was stupidity. I hear one of his relatives is a fire chief in Pemberton.


Guy
 

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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I saw him on TV and I have to agree that it was not arson, it was stupidity. I hear one of his relatives is a fire chief in Pemberton.


Guy
Yeah arson is an odd choice, I always thought that implied malicious intent. I do think some charge should be administered however. I know I have had, to many to count, bon/campfires, in all I kinds of conditions. Never have I left a fires remains untended until I was sure it was 100% out, its irresponsible and criminal neglect not to. Also not sure if the burn notice was in effect in the area in question, it was in gloucester & cape may counties. If it was it really needs to be adhered to and not ignored, and it is indeed criminal if a fire starts and somebody ignored it.
 

MarkBNJ

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Jun 17, 2007
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Yeah arson is an odd choice, I always thought that implied malicious intent. I do think some charge should be administered however. I know I have had, to many to count, bon/campfires, in all I kinds of conditions. Never have I left a fires remains untended until I was sure it was 100% out, its irresponsible and criminal neglect not to. Also not sure if the burn notice was in effect in the area in question, it was in gloucester & cape may counties. If it was it really needs to be adhered to and not ignored, and it is indeed criminal if a fire starts and somebody ignored it.
It's really criminal negligence. I doubt arson will stick. It's a shame that the Pines aren't loaded with something that is really good at extinguishing flames, like sand or water.
 

Teegate

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It's really criminal negligence. I doubt arson will stick. It's a shame that the Pines aren't loaded with something that is really good at extinguishing flames, like sand or water.
The police themselves say the men believed the fire was out. I don't see them saying that appears not to be true. I agree Mark, it will not stick.

I was there yesterday looking it over but did not walk around.

Guy
 

46er

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It's really criminal negligence. I doubt arson will stick.
There is an excellent chance it will stick. Once convicted, they should be required to pay all costs associated with the extinguishing of the fire and the cost for any damage caused.

Subsection of Statute § 2C:17-1. Arson and related offenses

b; Arson. A person is guilty of arson, a crime of the third degree, if he purposely starts a fire or causes an explosion, whether on his own property or another's:

(1) Thereby recklessly placing another person in danger of death or bodily injury; or

(2) Thereby recklessly placing a building or structure of another in danger of damage or destruction; or

(3) With the purpose of collecting insurance for the destruction or damage to such property; or

(4) With the purpose of destroying or damaging a structure in order to exempt the structure, completely or partially, from the provisions of any State, county or local zoning, planning or building law, regulation, ordinance or enactment; or

(5) Thereby recklessly placing a forest in danger of damage or destruction.
 

firetech792

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Aug 26, 2007
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www.sectionb10.org
The NJ Forest Fire Service investigates every fire. If the responsible person is found, they are charged for all costs incurred in fighting the fire.

  1. The Forest Fire Service may assess and collect amounts equal to the cost of extinguishment or a lesser amount as determined by mitigating circumstances.
  2. For a non-willful violation of Forest Fire Law the Service may assess a fine up to $5,000.
  3. For a willful violation of Forest Fire Law the Service may assess a fine up to $100,000.
 

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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It's really criminal negligence. I doubt arson will stick. It's a shame that the Pines aren't loaded with something that is really good at extinguishing flames, like sand or water.
The obvious struck me as funny to begin with, but sad on second glance. Chaled up to what, lazy? drunken? Both?
 

46er

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46er, keep track of this, because if they convict those guys of arson I'll drive down and buy you a beer and a bowl of wings at the Pic :).
Jersey justice being what it is, they'll probably plead out to a lesser charge if their record is clean, but one can hope.

Wait a minute, that hope thing didn't work out very well the last time :rofl: