MANCHESTER — A 77-year-old man has been charged with aggravated arson after investigators linked him to a series of dumpster fires earlier this year.

The charges against Nicholas Depalma, a resident of the Whiting section, is at least the second serious arson case in this Ocean County township this year.

Prosecutors said Depalma set the fires between Jan. 1 and April 26, all in the township. One of the fires damaged a structure while one was set near a wooded area. Authorities did not provide exact locations in their announcement of the arrest on Friday.

Depalma surrendered to police on Wednesday, who let him go with a summons to appear in court. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Depalma had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Earlier this year, prosecutors charged a 32-year-old township resident with 28 counts of arson linked to fires from May 2021 to January in Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Lakewood and Wall. A grand jury handed up an indictment against Gregory Fullman in April.

Sergio Bichao is the digital managing editor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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